mbf45's picture

Caseless Caddis

Observed: 22nd February 2011 By: mbf45mbf45’s reputation in Invertebratesmbf45’s reputation in Invertebratesmbf45’s reputation in Invertebratesmbf45’s reputation in Invertebrates
caseless caddis

P. conspersa - a member of the family Polycentropodidae. The species has a number of distinguishing characteristics and not all are visible in the picture. Identification was based upon the key by Edington and Hildrew. The identity was established before the photograph was taken and was not based upon it.

Species interactions

No interactions present.


mbf45's picture

Use of photos!

Yes I agree that caddis should not be identified to species on the basis of a photo but as I said above this ID was based upon characteristics that you can not see in the picture. The ID was based upon observations made under a microscope.

I can appreciate your comment as I often say the same things when I see a caddis being identified on the basis of a picture. It cannot be done with certainty - hence the use of a microscope before assigning a species name. This is P. conspersa but not on the basis of the picture.

Matt Smith's picture

Photo ID

I'm quite happy with your full Id of the species under the microscope - this one is not hard to do as caddis go. However, the aim of I-Spot as I understand it is to help people improve their ID skills based on photos of the animal in questions.

If we had more photos of the larva showing the specific bits that we would need to look at when going through the key then it should be possible to confirm the ID to species. However, going purely by what is posted we can not get further than Genus with this observation.

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mbf45's picture

Photo ID

I had assumed that the aim of iSpot was to encourage people to develop their identification skills generally and that the posting of the photos was a means of sharing the observations and promoting discussion rather than a primary means of identifying them.

As we have both said the problem with identifying to species level by photos is that quite often the required features cannot be seen. Another problem is actually trying to take a picture that shows all of the characteristics. This is the skill that I am trying to develop at the moment. I am coming to the conclusion that the only way to take the type of picture needed for invertebrates would be use a camera mounted on a microscope.

kcf32's picture

Photo ID

Perhaps including a description of the distinguishing features that lead to the identification would benefit all.

It would help "experts" confirm your identification at species level and it would alert "novices" to the characteristics they need to look for when attempting an identification.