Tuesday, 6 September 2016

Lesser Treble-bars?

These two moths cheered me up as I worked through an absolute multitude of Large Yellow Underwings, Setaceous Hebrew Characters et al this morning. With the help of Richard Lewington, they seem to me to be a Lesser Treble-bar and its form fimbriata. My W,T&L is an 2003 edition but it notes that the form had been found in Oxfordshire, and perhaps this has increased (I've tried an initial Google, and will do more when time permits - I also want to check out the meaning of 'fimbriata' which seems to be used for a fish, a cactus and even the Broad-bordered Yellow Underwing).

Both moths were perched on the inside of my trap bowl which makes photography hopeless, at least in my hands, but I managed to entice them on to an eggbox flap.  I know that my ID record is wobbly to say the least, but am I right this time?  (btw I appreciate that the LT-b and the Treble-bar may not be separable via a pic like mine).  Martin Wainwright, Thrupp, Oxon


  1. Could you not have enticed them onto glass or perspex and photo'd the underside so we could see the abdomen tip?

  2. Hi Martin, you are safe with the second picture as Lesser Treble-bar f. fimbriata (= fringed?). I find it easy just to stick them in a clear pot then, assuming they're male which more often than not they are, all it takes is a quick look at the underside abdomen tip. Long claspers = Treble-bar, short ones = Lesser Treble-bar. Here in the garden at Westcott Lesser Treble-bar is very common, especially at the moment, while I get Treble-bar only once or twice a year if I'm lucky.

  3. Alas no, Peter, I'm afraid I didn't know that bit would interest you (though I should have done!). But there doesn't seem to be a 'bar-free' form of the Treble Bar, so I'm hoping the experts may be able to make progress on that one. It looks exactly like RL's illustration of fimbriata. All best M

  4. Ah thanks v much Dave - our comments crossed. I have to admit very disgracefully that the Tb/Ltb distinction doesn't interest me as much as it should, but I'm pleased about the fimbriata and also very grateful to have your definition of the word. The fish with fimbriata in its Linnaean name is called the Bonga Shad, apparently 'usually referred to simply as the Bonga'. What an interesting world we live in. All warm wishes M


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