Here’s how to distinguish some of nature’s harmless and potentially harmful look-alikes.
The flower fly can often be mistaken for a bee or wasp.
One way to distinguish honeybees from look-alikes is to look at their antennae, which, for honeybees, are longer than their heads.
Pit vipers (which includes the rattlesnake, shown here, and the copperhead and cottonmouth) are so named for their distinguishing facial pits. Located between their eyes and nostrils, these pits sense heat and help the snakes detect prey.
Cottonmouths vary in color from solid brown, black or olive, to patterns of these colors. They inhabit the South and lower Midwest.
Poison ivy (left) and Virginia creeper (right) are commonly confused for one another.
Northern water snake
RICHARD DAY/DAYBREAK IMAGERY
The nonvenomous scarlet kingsnake lives in part of the venomous coral snake's range, from North Carolina to east Texas.
The small and relatively mild-mannered eastern coral snake packs a potent bite, one that's potentially deadly to humans. It can be distinguished from nonvenomous look-alikes through which colors touch each other: "red touch yellow, kills a fellow."
One distinguishing feature of the black bear is how its body tends to tilt upward, whereas the grizzly bear tends to slope downward.
The grizzly bear has a more pronounced shoulder hump than the black bear.
The black bear has a more oval face than the rounded face of the grizzly bear.
Note the short ears of the grizzly bear, compared to the comparatively larger ears of the black bear.