22 de diciembre de 2020

Identifications of hedgehogs (Erinaceus) in Europe


Three species of Erinaceus occur in Europe: E. europaeus, E. roumanicus & E. concolor

The distinction of these three species is difficult and mostly not possible on photos, but in most cases, a species ID is possible based on their range.

Geographic Distribution

While the populations of E. europaeus ('western hedgehog') and E. roumanicus ('eastern hedgehog') are largely separated, there exists a contact zone in form of an area stretching from West-Poland through Czechia/West-Slovakia, Austria and along the Italian/Slovenian border towards the Istrian peninsula (Croatia). A second, large sympatric range is present in the Baltic region, extending eastwards into the European part of Russia. The easternmost distribution of E. europaeus is not too well known and might go as far as the Ural mountains. Also, the range of the species might be undergoing continuous shifting, especially E. europaeus extending its range in north-eastern Europe (more on this below).

E. concolor is an asiatic species, the nearest occurrences are in (the Asian part of) Turkey and the Caucasus.

Here are distribution maps of the three species (source: Wikipedia):

Source: [6]; blue: E.e. red: E.r orange: wild hybrids (in GER and CZ)

In European Russia, there is a broad area of overlap of the two species (Source: I. Zagorodniuk [2005]):

Morphological Differences

The color of the fur on the underside is usually lighter in E. roumanicus, and there are some typical head patterns of fur color mentioned, but as far as I understand it, there is a large variability in these features and morphological measurements or genetic analyses are often required to confirm a species ID. The potential of hybridisations is discussed later.
On average, E. europaeus is heavier and longer, while E. roumanicus has a longer tail [8].
Skeleton morphometrics are a much better way to distinguish the species, which is however mainly possible on dead animals (roadkill). E. europaeus has a larger skull and distinct shapes of the cranium and mandibles. But even here it is getting complicated, as in sympatry, those two species become morphologically more similar to each other - presumably by convergent selection [6]. I am not aware if this phenomenon applies to the fur coloration as well.

Sympatry and Hybridization

There has been little gene flow between the two species [7] and only few instances of hybridization have been reported in the contact zone of Central Europe, with the highest number in the city of Berlin [6]. The area of sympatry has remained relatively stable over time. A different picture can be seen in eastern Europe, where the two species only started to meet in a relatively recent time: According to a recent study [1], the range of E. europaeus extends eastwards until the Ural mountains, and in eastern Europe (Baltic region, Moscow area) there is a considerable proportion of ongoing hybridization among the population.

Here is the situation in Austria (E. europaeus above):

Distribution maps for other countries would be highly appreciated.

[1] https://www.researchgate.net/publication/347131347_Genetic_diversity_and_structure_of_the_hedgehogs_Erinaceus_europaeus_and_Erinaceus_roumanicus_evidence_for_ongoing_hybridization_in_Eastern_Europe (English)
[2] http://terioshkola.org.ua/library/zag/zag-2005-(geosibling).pdf (Russian)
[3] https://www.zobodat.at/pdf/WM_20_0011-0436.pdf (German)
[4] https://www.zobodat.at/pdf/Gruene-Reihe-Lebensministerium_13_0001-0895.pdf (German)
[5] https://www.researchgate.net/publication/296106521_Materials_for_a_theriofauna_of_north-eastern_Italy_Mammalia_Friuli-Venezia_Giulia (Italian)
[6] Bolfikova et al (2020): https://www.mdpi.com/2076-2615/10/10/1803
[7] Courto et al (2019): https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/ece3.4960
[8] Hrabě et al (1975): Variation in Somatic Characters of Two Species of Erinaceus (Insectivora, Mammalia) in Relation to Individual Age. Zool. List. 1975, 24, 335–351.

Anotado en martes, 22 de diciembre de 2020 a las 08:08 AM por carnifex carnifex | 2 comentarios | Deja un comentario

12 de noviembre de 2020

ID tips for common Drosophila species (not every Fruit Fly is Drosophila melanogaster...)

A word of caution in the beginning:

This guide is dealing with worldwide distributed species associated with humans.
Please be aware that in your area, additional species might be found in urban locations as well.

Fruit flies are attracted by fermenting organic matter (fruits, mushrooms, wine, beer etc.).

Here is a composition of species caught in a vinegar trap during one day in a storage room in a European city:

However, the different species have their own preferences, so not all food sources are visited by all species in the same numbers.

Also, some species show seasonal occurrence peaks, while others are regular visitors throughout the year.

Peculiarly, some species are more readily entering closed buildings (e.g. D. melanogaster, D. repleta and D. immigrans are commonly found indoors), while other, although closely related to D. melanogaster (D. simulans, D. suzukii) might actually be more common in total numbers but are more reluctant to fly through an open window. This of course does not take into account that fruits containing eggs or larvae are taken indoors where these respective species then develop and hatch.

Some general advice when photographing fruit flies:

At least a side view and a view from top should be provided.
Patterns of abdomen and wings should be visible.

The SOPHOPHORA subgroup:
3 common species, including the 'lab animal' D. melanogaster and the pest species D. suzukii.
Females are often difficult or even impossible to ID.

Common feature in males: Sex combs on the fore legs (tibia). If you find a Drosophila with sex combs, it belongs into the subgenus Sophophora.
The size of the sex combs can vary considerably among different species and can serve as an ID feature.
Here are two examples (left: D. suzukii; right: D. subobscura)

A further common feature of this group is that the dark bands on the abdomen are not interrupted in the middle, but this character is not unique to this subgenus.

D. melanogaster
Males: wings without marks, no visible abdominal appendage (epandrium)

D. simulans
Less often indoors than its sister species.
Females almost identical to D. melanogaster, eyes slightly larger in both sexes
Males with large epandrium

D. suzukii
Males with wing spots (not extending to the tip). Careful: there are several fly species from different families which also have wing spots).

Can tolerate freezing temperatures, and winter flies might be coloured darker (the one in the middle in the example below)

Females are special amongst Drosophila species, as they lay eggs in fresh (not rotting) fruit and thus pose a threat to cultivated berries and wineyards. They need to have a much stronger ovipositor ('chainsaw'-like) to cut open the skin of the fruit. Because of the larger sized ovipositor, the abdominal end is less rounded and more angled than in other species. The general posture is somewhat 'hunchbacked', which is apparent already in the field with some experience


Two common species, a third one (D. mercatorum) also widespread (esp. in warmer areas), but I have never found it or seen reports of it. A common trait of this group is the spotted thorax. The abdominal stripes are interrupted in the middle. Generally larger than the Common Fruit Fly, males and females very much alike.

D. repleta
Lateral dark areas of the abdomen contain light spots.
Important feature is at the wing border: there is a dark spot at the costal break

D. hydei
Usually darker than D. repleta, without the dark spots at the costal break and the light spots on the lateral abdomen

Here is a side-by-side comparison:



D. immigrans
Very common. Apperent even with the naked eye is its large size (often double the size of the Common Fruit Fly) and long wings. Wing pattern very typical with the two cross veins and three vein tips darkened. Sexes alike, abdominal pattern interrupted in the middle.

D. buskii
Pattern unmistakable ('trident' on the thorax). A small, elegant and slender species

D. funebris
The type species of the genus Drosophila, received its name in 1787. Some variability in color, but the complete abdomen is dark (not just the tip as in the Common Fruit Fly). Males can be identified by the strong setae (bristles) at the terminalia. Females might be confused with other darker species.


Anotado en jueves, 12 de noviembre de 2020 a las 11:33 PM por carnifex carnifex | 5 comentarios | Deja un comentario

09 de julio de 2020

hilfreiche Websites zur Bestimmung // helpful websites for IDs (Europe only)


https://flora.nhm-wien.ac.at/ (Österreich)
http://botanische-spaziergaenge.at/ (Österreich)

generell Wirbellose:
https://www.galerie-insecte.org/galerie/fichier.php (French)
https://www.jungledragon.com/user/3043/pudding4brains.html (diverse helpful stuff)


Wanzen/Heteroptera/ True Bugs:
https://www.britishbugs.org.uk/ only UK species


Fliegen/Diptera/ Flies:
http://www.natur-in-nrw.com/HTML/Artenuebersichten/schwebfliegen-uebersicht.html (nur Schwebfliegen)
https://www.flickr.com/photos/63075200@N07/collections/72157629586945825/ (only some families, and UK specific)



Springschwänze/ Collembola/ Springtails:

Staubläuse/ Psocodea:

Blattläuse/ Aphids

Gallen und Minierer / Galls and Miners

Phytoparasitische Kleinpilze (Rostpilze, Mehltau etc.)

Flechten/ Lichens
http://www.lichens.lastdragon.org/index.html (UK only)

Anotado en jueves, 09 de julio de 2020 a las 09:37 PM por carnifex carnifex | 9 comentarios | Deja un comentario

Xanthogramma species in Europe

While X. citrofasciatum, X. laetum and X. marginale are relatively easy to ID, the following species-complex (formerly regarded as a single species) is harder to approach:

X. pedissequum, dives and stackelbergi are very similar looking species and often (especially in males) not safely to ID. Fotos from different angles (dorsal, lateral, ventral [abdomen!] and in females also a frontal view) can be very helpful for the ID process.

This is a map view of the three species, including those at genus level.


And click here to see the distribution in the compare tool.

X. stackelbergi clearly is the rarest reported species of those three on iNaturalist.
X. pedissequum has a more northerly distribution, but with a broad range of overlap with X. dives.. X. stackelbergi probably can be found across the continent.

Features to look for:

X. dives:
the yellow pleuron is sometimes also present in X. pedissequum, so a combination of characters is important. Darkened wing tip ususally only obvious in females. A view from the underside has the border of the sternite yellow, where in X. pedissequum there should be a dark line where the arrow points to.

X. stackelbergi:
The yellow spot on tergite 2 is not triangular, but more 'dragged' in direction of the rear end, resulting in a rounder and skewed shape.
But careful: These marks are variable within these species and can only give a hint but don't allow an ID on its own!
The dark wing spot does not extend beyond vein r2+3 (purple line). Compare wing of X. dives above, where the dark area crosses the vein.

Anotado en jueves, 09 de julio de 2020 a las 04:28 PM por carnifex carnifex | 3 comentarios | Deja un comentario

12 de enero de 2020

City Nature Challenge Wien

@waldgeist @kmlkml @kienberg @cathyp @pastabaum @lrasran @merl @lena_f @mgreilhuber @gurucumi @alexcm @kumpelblase @philpav @essmeister @irmi @rombrand @erwin_pteridophilos @jacek8 @lozifer @dellfalconer @mondseeirrsee @t0ntie

Liebe Leute!
Eines der größten Citizen-Science Projekte der Welt zur Erfassung der Biodiversität steht bevor!
Die City Nature Challenge startet weltweit am 24. April und Österreich ist endlich mit dabei: In Wien, Graz und der Wachau gilt es, in vier Tagen mit so vielen Arten, so vielen Beobachtungen und so vielen Teilnehmern wie möglich an der Challenge teilzunehmen.

Ich schreibe euch, weil es großartig wäre wenn ihr mithelfen könntet, dieses Event zu einem großen Erfolg werden zu lassen. Wie?

  • am Wichtigsten: Als Teilnehmer in einer der Regionen
  • als Botschafter (erzählt so vielen Leuten wie möglich davon, macht Aushänge an Unis und anderen Einrichtungen, nutzt Email-Verteiler, ....)
  • als Bestimmer der Beobachtungen (bis zum 3. Mai soll alles, so gut es geht, identifiziert worden sein)
  • als Unterstützer:
    Es gibt im Vorhinein einige Veranstaltungen, um auf die Challenge aufmerksam zu machen, den Gebrauch von iNaturalist zu erklären, Infomaterial zu erhalten, Exkursionen durchzuführen, etc. Momentan bin ich da für Wien der alleinige Organisator, und es wäre grandios, wenn ich ein paar helfende Hände bekommen könnte.

Wie, das kann ich dann gerne bei Interesse genauer erklären. Aber werdet gerne auch selber aktiv, vielleicht habt ihr noch tolle Ideen?
Es gibt schon einen vorläufigen "Tournee-Ablauf" hier: https://www.dropbox.com/s/uzdu3kbwzq0lkod/veranstaltungen%20zur%20cnc.docx?dl=0
Infomaterialien, die gerne versendet oder gedruckt werden dürfen/sollen, hier:

Wäre toll, falls ihr Vorschläge und Anmerkungen habt, sie mir hier als Kommentar oder per Message zukommen lasst.
Und damit ich weiß, wer alles die Nachricht hier bekommen hat, am besten ebenfalls eine Persönliche Message zu schreiben, da ich nicht weiß, ob alle die Benachrichtigungen in iNaturalist auch sehen.

Hier gibts Links zur weiteren Info und zu den Projekten:

Und ich darf noch auf eine Veranstaltung hinweisen:
Am Montag, 13. Jänner eine Posiumsdiskussion im Großen Festsaal der Uni Wien - als Abschluss der Semesterfrage 'Wie schützen wir die Artenvielfalt':

Freu mich auf euer Engagement! Let's rock this!
Lorin (Carnifex)

Anotado en domingo, 12 de enero de 2020 a las 03:16 PM por carnifex carnifex | 82 comentarios | Deja un comentario

06 de abril de 2019

01 de abril de 2019

Lichens on iNat

enter all unknown Lichens as 'Lecanoromycetes' and hope the experts will find it that way

Anotado en lunes, 01 de abril de 2019 a las 12:30 PM por carnifex carnifex | 0 comentarios | Deja un comentario

03 de septiembre de 2017

About the field "Holding bin (true bugs)"

The 'holding bin' concept is a way to narrow down the identification of an observation, if it can not be determined on species level but more specific than a 'formal taxon' would allow.
E.g. sister species would otherwise only be determined on genus level.

Use the observation field Holding bin (true bugs) when you want to specify a complex of multiple taxa.

Examples of use for this observation field:
Carpocoris purpureipennis/pudicus
Lygaeus equestris/simulans

See also the concept here: Holding bin (spider) (with a more comprehensive explanation)
and here: Holding bin (plants)

Anotado en domingo, 03 de septiembre de 2017 a las 05:55 PM por carnifex carnifex | 0 comentarios | Deja un comentario