Originally Posted by onlyricky
: I think there is no body doubles here
At least i've not seen them
There are quite a few of these little red fellows in Southern Europe, and while I'm quite confident that the ID is right I just don't know all
those species and don't have images of all
the possible candidates that I don't know so personally I
truly can't rule out that there might still be a lookalike.
To name but one, Horvathiolus superbus
is really quite similar (many people confuse the two) and it's even in a different genus. Both are supposedly present in Portugal and additionally for example Horvathiolus guttatus
(and many others) that I have really no idea about. To truly know for sure you would have to be able to rule out at least all other Lygaeidae recorded for Portugal (and maybe even some other Families??).
This is a general problem with insect IDs: You simply can't be 100% sure unless you know all
similar species (which makes it hard to 'start' with truly large groups) or
the species is distinctive looking and
you have reliable information that there are no lookalikes.
Coccinella septempunctata: Coccinella Magnifica its not here! at least i've never noticed it here!
Well, I have really tried hard to find them in the Netherlands and have as yet been unsuccessful, but I'm pretty sure they are
Fauna Ibérica (at faunaiberica.es
) is a nice project and is working on a database
which often holds good info/checklists (but not for all groups of critters yet). Don't confuse with faunaiberica.org
which I find not nearly as useful.
Anyway, consulting their database learns that C.magnifica
is (supposedly) present in Iberia, which makes sense as it's also known from South-France.
Interestingly, Fauna Europaea
provides this list of Coccinellidae
for Portugal and Spain which does
but on the list of Coccinella for Portugal
alone the species is not featured (which I had quickly checked yesterday).
From that, one would think that magnifica
is only present in Spain and indeed not in Portugal, but
please be aware that both databases are still quite unreliable(!!)
and often based on old literature. So, there is a small chance still that the animal would already be recorded for Portugal and/or might just decide to travel there one of these days. As the beetles are quite hard to distinguish from the 7-spot it may easily go unnoticed.
Nevertheless, the larvae are supposedly somewhat lighter in colour so I'd say yours should still be good for Coc.sep.
Cantharis sp.: Seems a Cantharis rufa
Yes, but the problem is it also
seems a Cantharis cryptica
From the sources mentioned above one would even think that rufa
isn't even present in Portugal (FE: Cantharis in Pt
) - like I wrote yesterday, I hadn't checked
supposedly is not even present in all of Iberia. Contrary, C. cryptica is
supposed to be present and C. pallida
in Spain only.
So that would suggest that for starters C. cryptica
is a much better choice than rufa
or even pallida
, that would not take into account all the 20-30 species of Cantharis
listed for Portugal that I
have no clue about - just know a little bit about the species present in the Netherlands and even that very much on a beginners level.
So, as far as I'm concerned I would have to stop at "tribe Cantharini" and even that would be "pushing my luck" as I'm really not 100% certain it couldn't possibly be one of the other beetles in the family Cantharidae.
If you want to find out more exactly, you will need to find more information on how to separate the different genera (for Cantharis
it's a minute detail in the tarsus of the hind legs, as kindly detailed by Paul M here
) and get a better idea of all
the "candidates" in your area, like try finding images of all species of Cantharini listed, finding out what time of year they are active etc etc.
If, like me, you don't own professional literature on the taxonomic group that handles your region it will probably be very hard to scrape this info/images together (but you will learn a lot
just by trying!) and you will have to doubt anything you find on the internet
to boot, so you will probably need to find some forum(s) where knowledgeable people experienced with the animals in your area answer questions and even doubt their answers at first too, until you are absolutely certain they're not "full of sh*t".
If you can tell us what languages you command we can probably help out with some links to good websites and other fora.
From everything I read the hoppers are not an easy group to identify (and there are not many true experts 'available' on the internet for questions). Have a look at the lists for this group on FE and FI to get an idea (here is the FE-list
) and keep in mind these are probably not even complete. Also note that Cicadella viridis
as such is not listed for Portugal (it is for Spain!), which may be due to lack of recording in Portugal and/or due to bad quality of the info in the database.
If you go ahead and assume that your animal is
indeed Cicadella viridis
(I just said it looks like it
) you may want to catch a few and prove beyond any doubt that it is this species and you'll be set for a scientific publication that lists the species as "new" for Portugal
Dear Ricky, this seems to be a bit of a rant, but I thought it would be a good idea to illustrate where some of the pitfalls in identification of these animals are. This is by no means an attempt to scare you away from identifications - it's fun and you learn so much while trying - but it is an attempt to show you that it's good to be prudent about the 'matches' you find.
IMHO there are way too many enthusiastic wrong IDs on the internet as it is. All too often people just stick 'any name' on their images and publish them and than other people use those images for reference to ID their own and the web quickly becomes a messy and utterly useless clutter of wrong info mixed in with a few accidental correct pieces.
Please do not
let all this get you down, and please do
keep showing your Portuguese critters here - all this is as educational to us as it is (hopefully) to you and I for one enjoy the puzzles and learning a bit more about 'southern' biodiversity in the process!