Red Admiral - Favourite Photo of 2011

Re: Red Admiral - Favourite Photo of 2011

Postby MikeOxon » Mon Feb 27, 2012 10:25 pm

nfreem wrote:noticed the one below of a Red Admiral taken at Fermyn Woods.


Like you, I first noticed this aberration on one I photographed in Fermyn Woods last year.

I posted it in the July 2011 sightings thread at viewtopic.php?f=8&t=5383&start=120#p48449

Piers informed me that this form is known as Ab. bialbata.

I have since found that I had taken several photos of this aberration over the years but just hadn't noticed it before!

Mike
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Re: Red Admiral - Favourite Photo of 2011

Postby Padfield » Mon Feb 27, 2012 11:20 pm

Thanks for that information, Mike. When it comes to abs, Piers is the man!

I'd never heard that name given before so I chased it up on the internet and found a monograph on Vanessa (http://si-pddr.si.edu/jspui/bitstream/10088/5367/2/SCtZ-0084-Lo_res.pdf) which includes in its list of 'synonyms' (see below) for Vanessa atalanta the following:

Pyrameis atalanta aberration bialbata Cabeau [excluded name, type 2], 1911, p. 22.—Bang-Haas, 1926, p. 55.
Vanessa atalanta variety bialbata.—Lhomne [excluded name, type 3], 1923. p. 51.
Pyrameis atalanta form bialbata.—Gaede [excluded name, type 3], 1930a, pp. 199-200; 1930b. pp. 199-200.
Vanessa atalanta form bialbata.—Lempke, 1956, p. 192.
Vanessa atalanta aberration bialbata.—Verity, 1950, p. 336.— Chalmers-Hunt, 1960-1961, p. 59.

The frequency is given as one in five in this passage on variation in red admirals (p. 14):

"INDIVIDUAL AND ABERRATIONAL VARIATION.—The ordinary individual variation in this subspecies often consists of differences in color of the lightcolored bands on the upper surfaces of the wings, this color may vary from yellow to orange to red to crimson. Other individual differences are caused by black scaling, which sometimes breaks this same band on the forewing into two or three distinct parts. Also specimens are common in both sexes with an extra white dot in this band in interspace Cu,, and Richards (1946, pp. 21-22) reports that out of five hundred specimens, one hundred had this extra white spot. Aberrational and individual variations have been studied extensively in this subspecies, unfortunately chiefly by persons who gave formal names to the individuals they described. A perusal of the literature and synonymy citations given previously shows that some twenty six writers have given forty-seven formal names to what are sometimes remarkable aberrations and to what are most often slight individual variants. Specimens lacking a particular submarginal white spot, having an extra white spot, having a misplaced marking, or showing any slight difference from the "normal" have received names ad infinitum. These names serve no useful purpose and all are excluded from our formal nomenclature or synonymized in the preceding text. Workers who are interested in these named aberrations should consult Verity (1950, pp. 334-340) and Lempke (1956, pp. 189-191)".

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Re: Red Admiral - Favourite Photo of 2011

Postby MikeOxon » Tue Feb 28, 2012 12:13 am

padfield wrote:I'd never heard that name given before so I chased it up on the internet


Thank you for this information, Guy.

When I was looking up information about bialbata last year, I came across the original paper by Fr. Cabeau in the journal of the Entomological Society of Namur, plus some subsequent correspondence.

In case others may be interested, I made rough English translations, attached to this post:

ab.Bialbata_Tr1.pdf
(46.55 KiB) Downloaded 57 times

ab.Bialbata_Tr2.pdf
(56.79 KiB) Downloaded 47 times

Dr. Maurice Goetghebuer suggests that this aberration may be the true type of Atalanta

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