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Are there any species that are near identical in outward appearance but are separate species?

When I say species I mean can’t interbreed.

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  • $\begingroup$ I don't know bro. If we cannot identify them so we cannot talk about them, can we? (This definition "Species that have evolved to be near identical" is somehow an identification itself.) $\endgroup$ – AmirhoseinRiazi Oct 4 at 16:02
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    $\begingroup$ Define your criteria for being identical: outward appearance, similar ecological niches, or what? My personal favorite are the ichthyosaurs & dolphins, and hummingbirds & hawk moths, but there are many others. $\endgroup$ – jamesqf Oct 4 at 16:20
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    $\begingroup$ Please edit your post to include this information and add enough background information (ideally with references) to demonstrate that you have done the expected prior research. Comments are ephemeral and often overlooked and should not contain information needed to understand the question. ——— You may also wish to take the tour and then consult the help pages for additional advice on How to Answer effectively on this site since it has different standards than other SE sites (like SO). Thank you! 😊 $\endgroup$ – tyersome Oct 4 at 18:56
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    $\begingroup$ Differing species of nematodes can be difficult to distinguish. $\endgroup$ – Polypipe Wrangler Oct 4 at 23:47
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Simple answer: yes, an uncounted number of them. You need to read up on two topics: convergent evolution and mimicry.

Convergent evolution is when environmental factors cause different creatures to evolve similar appearance and lifestyle. Perhaps the classic example of this are the dolphins and ichthyosaurs. Despite being of different groups - mammals vs reptiles - they both evolved from land-dwelling creatures that adopted a marine lifestyle, and as a consequence a similiar appearance.

Mimicry is when one creature evolves to appear similar to another because that gives them some advantage. Here the classic example is the viceroy butterfly, which supposedly evolved a similar appearance to the monarch because the latter tastes bad, so that birds avoid eating it.

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