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Sometimes, more information doesn't help

 
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Beatsy



Joined: 05 Jul 2013
Posts: 911
Location: Malvern, UK

PostPosted: Tue Mar 14, 2017 8:19 am    Post subject: Sometimes, more information doesn't help Reply with quote

I bought a reference book on moths (Moths of the British Isles by Bernard Skinner) because my general insect reference lists very few species and I often failed to ID the moths I found. I'm not sure the new book helped though. Sure, it lists gazillions more moths and with practice I'll get better at ID'ing them, but right now, they all look the flippin' same to me Shocked

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abpho



Joined: 17 Aug 2011
Posts: 1423
Location: Earth

PostPosted: Tue Mar 14, 2017 8:29 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

And this is only page one. lol.


Try identifying mushrooms. I hear it makes identifying warblers a piece of cake.
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NikonUser



Joined: 04 Sep 2008
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Location: southern New Brunswick, Canada

PostPosted: Tue Mar 14, 2017 10:24 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

It's a superb book.
Unfortunately (perhaps intentional??) you chose the plate showing the "Pugs" which are for all practical purpose impossible to ID except by genitalia dissection (sound familiar?).

Another book worth having is Waring & Townsend "Field Guide to the Moths of Great Britain and Ireland" 2003.
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NU.
student of entomology
Quote – Holmes on ‘Entomology’
” I suppose you are an entomologist ? “
” Not quite so ambitious as that, sir. I should like to put my eyes on the individual entitled to that name.
No man can be truly called an entomologist,
sir; the subject is too vast for any single human intelligence to grasp.”
Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr
The Poet at the Breakfast Table.

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Beatsy



Joined: 05 Jul 2013
Posts: 911
Location: Malvern, UK

PostPosted: Tue Mar 14, 2017 11:21 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

NikonUser wrote:
Unfortunately (perhaps intentional??) you chose the plate showing the "Pugs" which are for all practical purpose impossible to ID except by genitalia dissection (sound familiar?).


Haha - you caught me being "theatrical", I admit picking the worst plate for my example Embarassed There are several other plates with a high proportion of near identical species though.

Yes - sounds familiar Smile I got the field guide to micro moths too. That's frankly even worse, but I expected it in the micros.
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Beatsy



Joined: 05 Jul 2013
Posts: 911
Location: Malvern, UK

PostPosted: Tue Mar 14, 2017 11:26 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

NikonUser wrote:
Another book worth having is Waring & Townsend "Field Guide to the Moths of Great Britain and Ireland" 2003.


There's a 3rd edition of this book (2017). Is the 2003 better?
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Peter M. Macdonald



Joined: 20 Jan 2009
Posts: 158
Location: Berwickshire, Scotland

PostPosted: Tue Mar 14, 2017 11:32 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Just a quick heads up - the new, third edition, of Waring and Townsend has just been published. The illustrations, by Richard Lewington" are excellent, and show the moths in a lifelike pose, rather than Skinner's set specimens.

Another excellent choice would be British Moths - a Photographic Guide.

I use a combination of these two, and can get most denizens of my trap correctly identified. If I can do it, so can anyone.

There are lots of excellent pictures at https://www.ukmoths.org.uk/.

Peter
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Lou Jost



Joined: 04 Sep 2015
Posts: 1798
Location: Ecuador

PostPosted: Tue Mar 14, 2017 12:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Reminds me of the flycatcher plates of Neotropical bird books. Luckily, birds sing, and when they do, they are practically shouting their name, now that there are good tapes of their songs online.
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Olympusman



Joined: 15 Jan 2012
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PostPosted: Sat Mar 18, 2017 12:11 pm    Post subject: Moths Reply with quote

It's only going to get worse. From wjat I have read, in Central America and even in the UK similar moths are hitting on each other and cross-breeding into subtle new species.
It's kind of like dogs - they are all essentially dogs, and the assumption is that they all came down from wolves, which naturally explains the Chihuahua and the Sharpei breeds.

Mike
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NikonUser



Joined: 04 Sep 2008
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Location: southern New Brunswick, Canada

PostPosted: Sun Mar 19, 2017 4:09 am    Post subject: Re: Moths Reply with quote

Olympusman wrote:
It's only going to get worse. From wjat I have read, in Central America and even in the UK similar moths are hitting on each other and cross-breeding into subtle new species.
Mike


Please supply a reference
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NU.
student of entomology
Quote – Holmes on ‘Entomology’
” I suppose you are an entomologist ? “
” Not quite so ambitious as that, sir. I should like to put my eyes on the individual entitled to that name.
No man can be truly called an entomologist,
sir; the subject is too vast for any single human intelligence to grasp.”
Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr
The Poet at the Breakfast Table.

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Olympus microscope and objectives
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Olympusman



Joined: 15 Jan 2012
Posts: 3422

PostPosted: Sun Mar 19, 2017 9:24 am    Post subject: Evolution Reply with quote

I don't have the refernces at hand, but i recall more than one newspaper story about similar moths cross-breeding, which is how evolution works, does it not? In the case of the UK, the story was that due to climate change, species that had been separated by climate zones are far less separated than previously.
In the case of dogs and other doemsticated animals, humans have been pushing along evolution at an amazing pace.

Mike
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Lou Jost



Joined: 04 Sep 2015
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Location: Ecuador

PostPosted: Sun Mar 19, 2017 5:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

That sort of hybridization does happen, but in the groups I am familiar with (mainly birds and orchids and some groups of butterflies) it involves a tiny minority of species. It doesn't usually produce a new species though. In most cases hybridization just blurs the boundaries between two formerly-distinct species. If it continues it generally reduces the number of species (two become one) rather than increasing the number, though there are exceptions.
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Olympusman



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PostPosted: Mon Mar 20, 2017 8:46 am    Post subject: Hybridization and climate change Reply with quote

https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/global-warming-spawns-hybrid-species/
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Lou Jost



Joined: 04 Sep 2015
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 20, 2017 9:01 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Note that, as the article says, this process reduces the number of species rather than increases it.

Quote:
“It’s a major cause of species extinction—lots of species are now disappearing because they are being genetically swamped by other, commoner ones.”


Within a species, though, the process adds to genetic variability and may speed evolution.
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