I need to create maps of multiple species in a certain area. However sometimes multiple species occurr in the exact same area. This results in two identical polygons on top of each other. Many of these polygons are for example a UTM1 square of 1 by 1 km.

When making a map I should be able to make it clear that there are multiple species that occur in that polygon. However through the syles menu I can only make the colors blend while ideally when 3 polygons are on top of each other I should get some sort of pie diagramm or a checkerboard pattern containing the colors of both species.

Does anyone know a plugin or elegant way to do this? So far I have only found stuff like the v.clean option, but I do not want to remove the overlapping polygons, quite the opposite, I want to visualise the overlapping polygons as well as the non-overlapping ones with a clear legend.

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    What is the maximum amount of different species you have in one region? Commented Jun 7, 2016 at 12:07
  • I'd say it will be around 4 but the total amount of squares for which I have more than one is quite high so a manual job is not really an option. Commented Oct 5, 2016 at 13:38

2 Answers 2


I have created 3 polygons called Deer Lions Bears, and used the Tranparency slider on the colour. enter image description here

the transparent colours show which polygons overlap


Have you considered just adding own layers for regions where multiple species occur? For example, if you have the species A which is visualized green, and the species B which is visualized red, just make the regions where both of them occur blue. Might be a bit too simplistic, but it works in my mind.

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