Updated as per "Systematics of moths in the genus Catocala (Lepidoptera, Erebidae) IV.
Nomenclatorial stabilization of the Nearctic fauna, with a revised synonymic check list";
ZooKeys 39: 37–83 (2010) by Lawrence F. Gall, David C. Hawks; March 21, 2010

Catocala of Delaware

Compiled by Bill Oehlke.

As of April 4, 2010, this page has been further updated as per research data compiled by Larry Gall.

I would like to continue to refine the listings to county levels so images and data (date, location at least to county level, bait, lights) would be very much appreciated. Please send same to Bill Oehlke. All images that I use on my websites remain the property of respective photographers and images are credited as such.

The Identification Keys Diagram should help you understand the terminology I have used in describing the various species.

Visit Delaware Sphingidae: Hawk Moths/Sphinx Moths

**8878 Catocala alabamae; Alabama Underwing; 30-40mm; Uniform greenish-grey fw may have thin but dark (contrasting) lines or they may be nearly absent (titania); alabamae often with dash in median/anal angle area, missing or nearly absent in titania. Brown shading between pm line/subterminal line. Hw inner black band thin, outer band thick, truncated before being followed by large black dot. Early flight season.

**8878 Catocala amica; Girlfriend; wingspan: 35-40mm
The black postmedian band is absent from the dorsal (upper) surface of the hindwing, but it is present on the ventral surface. Moths come in to lights and to bait.

Catocala amica lineella is now (2010) elevated to full species status as Catocala lineella.
Maurice Bottos image.

** 8878.1 lineella; Little Lined Underwing; wingspan: 35-40mm. This species is without hw marginal black band. Fw subreniform spot is pale and boldy outlined with black. There is similar light brownish-gray patch in upper half of median area near pm line, and just between subreniform spot and am line there is similarly coloured light patch paralleling am lne. The reniform spot is dark, less distinct and in a generally darker area.

** 8874 Catocala minuta TM; Little Underwing, 35-45mm; Fw grey-brown, greatly widened, white, st line (near costa only). Hw outer black band unbroken, inner band in complete loop, brown scaling along im. "eureka" Schwarz: blackish area between am,pm lines; "hiseri" Cassino: dull grey fw, very faint markings; "mellitula" Hulst: blackish patch in basal area from costa to im; "obliterata" Schwarz: melanic form, almost completely black fw; "parvula" W. H. Edwards: broad dark patch along fw i. m..

** 8864 Catocala grynea ; Woody Underwing, wingspan: 40-50mm

The forewing is a dull greenish grey with orangey-brown shading along the inner margin. The antemedial, median and postmedial lines are quite faint.

Praeclara is somewhat similar but has a break in the brown shading between the am and pm lines. Praeclara also has a paler orange hindwing color.
Tim Dyson image.

** 8865 praeclara; Praeclara Underwing, wingspan: 40-50mm. Fw pale greenish-grey with considerable contrasting brown shading beyond post medial line. There is a black basal dash very close to the inner margin and another dash, higher up in the median area. Note the contrasting shapes of the reniform and subreniform spots. Upper of two larger pml teeth is longer, wider than lower tooth. Note double, white filled amls. Lighter, subcircular patch, outlined in black, brown on lower thorax.

** 8858 Catocala crataegi unconfirmed; Hawthorn Underwing, wingspan: 40-50mm Determination is based on dark (black) shading in forewing basal area continuing along inner margin to anal angle and brown shading beyond postmedial line. Definite greenish cast to median area. Lower wing has outer black band, broken near anal angle, distinguishing crataegi from blandula.

** 8775 antinympha; Sweetfern Underwing, wingspan 45-55mm. Very dark grey, almost black, forewing ground colour distinguishes antinympha. Some brown shading in subreniform spot and also just outside postmedial line. The hindwing is amber to pale orange. There is also the form multoconspicua Reiff, 1919 with a pale, almost white subreniform spot.

Midsized Orange-Salmon-Red-Scarlet Underwings: Wingspans: 50-72mm

** 8857 Catocala ultronia; Ultronia Underwing, wingspan: 50-63mm.

Fws typically gray-brown, with a distinct and very dark inner margin and characteristic light brown patch, underscored by very dark arc, near wingtip. Underwings can be yellow to orange to salmon.

** 8857 Catocala ultronia form lucinda; Ultronia Underwing, wingspan: 50-63mm.

In form lucinda most of the forewing is bright grey.

On all forms there is extensive orange-salmon colouration on hw ventral surface, and there is a dark discal lunule.

Catocala ultronia, form nigrescens, the Ultronia Underwing, wingspan: 50-63mm. In the melanic form nigrescens, the dorsal forewing is very dark. Even darker subapical arc, basal dash and dash near anal angle are still visible. Dark basal hairs on hindwing. Harold J. Vermes slide, used with permission from his son.

Catocala ultronia form celia.

In form celia there is a wide, light grey band separating a dark region along inner margin and a dark patch near the apex. The ventral surface of forewings of all forms has a generous suffusion of orange-salmon scales in the lower half of the median area.

** 8770 Catocala innubens; Betrothed; 55-72mm. Forewing is mottled with white, grey and brown, and subrenifrom spot tends to be lighter in colour, although it is sometimes obscured by an indistinct blackish bar which runs from middle of basal/thorax connection to just below much lighter apex at outer margin.

Jim Vargo image.

** 8770 Catocala innubens form scintillans; Betrothed; 55-72mm.

In form scintillans most of the basal area (all but lower third) and all of the median area of the forewing is dark reddish brown. The area outside the pm line is grey.

Vernon A Brou image.

Solid Black Underwings: Smallest to Largest, Similar Species Paired

** 8781 judith, Judith's Underwing, (wingspan: 45-55mm), yes, small "black" underwing. FW uniform light grey with thin, only slightly darkened am, median and pml lines. No darkened dashes (slight anal dash) or transverse lines. Reniform area slightly darkened while area just before subterminal line is bit lighter. Note absence of hw white fringe. Joe Garris photo. unconfirmed

** 8782 Catocala flebilis, yes; Mournful, wingspan: 54-65mm. Diffuse black band runs from basal area to outer margin just below apex, interrupted by pale grey subreniform spot. Reniform spot is filled with brown; there is additional brown outside postmedial line. No anal dash as there is in angusi. The hindwings have white fringe. J. K. Adams image.

** 8773 Catocala epione , yes; Epione Underwing, wingspan: 55-65mm

The pm line is squared and has a brown band and then a light band just outside the line.

The hindwing is black with pure white fringe with no barring.
John Himmelman image.

Catocala residua; Residua Underwing, (wingspan: 60-73mm), distinguished from Catocala obscura by grey hw fringe of residua. Catocala obscura has white to off-white fringe and tends to be less common in northern portions of its range. Fw subterminal line/area of Catocala residua tends to be pale as is its open, elongated subreniform spot. Like C. obscura it is otherwise devoid of significant markings except for hint of dark bar running from basal area through reniform spot to o. m. just below apex.

** 8791 Catocala insolabilis; Inconsolable, wingspan: 65-75mm; Fw light grey with blackish shading along inner margin. Antemedial and postmedial lines are thin. Hw fringe very narrow and grey, becoming whiter toward apex. Ventral surface clearly distinguishes insolabis, being almost completely black except for some white in basal area.
Vernon A. Brou image.

** 8794 Catocala lacrymosa; Tearful Underwing, 60-82mm. The forewing is highly variable with a mixture of black, brown (wing tips and outside postmedial line) and dark grey scaling. There are usually whitish crescents, along the inner margin at the base of the antemedial and postmedial lines.

The hindwings are black with white checkered fringe, turning black near the anal angle. There are several different forms.

** 8794 Catocala lacrymosa; Tearful Underwing, 60-82mm. Form paulina: lighter grey post median area & area along and parallel to inner margin, in sharp contrast to darker basal median areas.

** 8794 Catocala lacrymosa; Tearful Underwing, 60-82mm.

In form evelina there is a wide black band along the forewing inner margin.

** 8794 Catocala lacrymosa; Tearful Underwing, 60-82mm;; GSMNP/TP/WAM/KC. In form albomarginata there is an abundance of white scaling on the forewing.

** 8794 Catocala lacrymosa; Tearful Underwing, 60-82mm;; TP. Form "zelica", has black basal patch and strong black subterminal line.

** 8792 Catocala vidua; Widow; 70-80mm. Fw ground colour light grey. Distinguishing dark arc runs through top of reniform spot to just below apex. Heavy, dark anal and basal dashes, connecting to dark median bar, running parallel to i. m. Am line thick, black in its upper half. Reniform spot with two almost concentric irregular ovals. Subreniform spot light, open, constricted as it meets pm line. Hw black with broad, white fringe, lightly interrupted. Marie Winn image.

Large Black Underwings (Banded): Wingspans: 70-80mm

** 8802 Catocala cerogama; Yellow-Banded; 70-80mm. Several different forms. Pm line distinct, dark and has elongate pair of projections. Pm and am lines meet inner margin in relative proximity. Closed subreniform spot lighter than surrounding areas, shaped a bit like an arrowhead with point toward body. Hws are distinctive. Jean-Benoît Duval image.

** 8802 Catocala cerogama; Yellow-Banded; 70-80mm.

Form ruperti: Forewings are almost uniform grey-brown with white scales outlining subterminal line.

The hindwings are distinctive. Tim Dyson image.

** 8802 Catocala cerogama; Yellow-Banded; 70-80mm.

Form bunkeri: Forewings are dark in median and basal areas. Hw golden band is reduced in thickness. Basal hairs are brown instead of yellow.

The hindwings are distinctive. Tim Dyson image.

Large Orange-Salmon Underwings: Wingspans: 65mm, usually 70-95mm

#8817 briseis; Briseis Underwing; 60-70mm; Fws predominantly mottled dark-grey-brown with some lighter areas 1) between postmedial & subterminal lines, 2) at base of am & pm lines along inner margin, 3) over subreniform spot running diagonally toward costa. Pm lines do not have greatly elongated and sharly pointed "teeth" near apex. Hw fringe white & unbroken, inner black band (fairly even) reaches inner margin. Tim Dyson image.

#8795 Catocala palaeogama ; wingspan: 60-70mm. Subreniform spot closed, does not approach pm line, is smaller than in C. habilis. All forms have characteristic orange, heavily barred fringe to apex, and irregular bands on hws. Hw basal median area heavily suffused with dark brown to black scales. Dark bar in outer half of median area, paralleling i. m. halfway between i. m. and light, closed subreniform spot. Joe Garris photo.

#8795 Catocala palaeogama form phalanga; wingspan: 60-70mm. In this form, fw basal area and subterminal area are very dark against a much lighter background. Dark bar in the outer half of the median area, paralleling the inner margin halfway between the inner margin and the light, closed subreniform spot is especially evident. Joe Garris image.

** 8801 Catocala ilia; Ilia; wingspan: 65-82mm. Several different forms, most have characteristic white area in and around reniform spot. Diffuse dark arc running from this spot to just below apex. Subreniform spot squarish, concave inner and outer edges and elongated constriction connecting it to pml. White dots near fw om in character with the overall "contrasting" appearance.

** 8801 Catocala ilia; Ilia; form conspicua

In this form the entire reniform spot is heavily suffused with white scaling on an otherwise darker ground colour. Hence the form name "conspicua".

Tim Dyson image.

** 8801 Catocala ilia; Ilia; form satanas

In this melanic form the entire forewing, including the reniform spot is very dark. Hence the form name "satanas".

The dark basal streak is still evident on this form.

Tim Dyson image.

** 8801 Catocala ilia; Ilia; form normani

In this semi-melanic form the entire forewing, excluding the reniform spot, is relatively dark. The brownish, kidney-shaped center of the reniform spot is outlined in white.

The basal streak and subapical arc are still visible.

Tim Dyson image.

** 8771 Catocala piatrix ; Penitent, wingspan: 68-84mm. Fw: light-colored band/bar extending from light coloured, triangular subreniform spot along am line to costa. Brown, kidney-shaped reniform spot surrounded in pale grey, outlined in black, usually with distinct black along wing veins in a dark area outside the reniform spot. Hw: fringe lightly barred; lighter in color than deeper orange on rest of wing.

** 8798 Catocala neogama; wingspan 70-85mm. Brown head, thorax, larger size as compared to C. palaeogama. Neogama tend to be slightly smaller than subnata, have darker grey brown fws with more pronounced markings. Examination of hind tibia needed for id. Neogama's: flattened, unevenly, sparsely spined; subnata's: cylindrical, spines dense, uniform in distribution. Joe Garris photo.

** 8806 Catocala parta; Mother Underwing, wingspan: 70-85mm. The black dashes in the basal, subapical and anal areas help to identify this species. The hindwings may be yellow to yellowish-orange but more often are salmon-red. Note the face-head-like markings on the thorax. In the hindwing, the first (nearest the apex) black protrusion into the white fringe is "noticeably" larger than the others.

Catocala nebulosa; Moths have prominent dark brown upper-half-basal patch that extends to and ends at antemedial line. Apical area also tends to be brown, much darker than median area but not as dark as basal patch. The anal angle also has the darker brown scaling. The pm line is distinct near costa and inner margin, but becomes weak between the two. It meets inner margin in relative close proximity to am line. Closed subreniform spot is large and connects to the pm line via a thin line.

** 8804 C. marmorata; Marbled; wingspan 85-95mm
Dark fw arc runs from costa down through reniform spot to outer margin just below apex. The subrenifrom spot is light, is bordered inwardly above by a white patch, and is connected to the pm line by a line rather than being open.

Medium-Large Pink Underwings: Wingspans: 70-95mm

** 8832 Catocala cara; Darling; 70-85mm. Note deep maroon almost purple cast to fws, mixed with very pale green. Lower half of am & pm lines is barely visible. There are no distinctive bars or dashes. The two upper "teeth" on the pm line are thin and long.
The hindwing bands are pink. There is heavy black checking on the off-white hindwing fringe. The relatively thick black median band of the hindwing almost reaches the inner margin which is usually heavily adorned with dark hairs.
Tim Dyson image.

** Catocala carissima; wingspan 70-85mm. Distinct light grey brown area at fw apex, preceded just inside pm line by slightly darker patch. Am and pm lines sharp and dark. Hw inner black band wide, complete, merges with extensive grey-black scaling along im. Hw fringe cream coloured.

** 8834 amatrix Sweetheart Underwing; (wingspan 75-95mm). Very skittish, frequently hides in caves, under bridges, under tree bark, etc. by day, resting with head down. Hw patterning and colouration similar to that of C. concumbens, but large size (wingspan 75-95mm) and dark bar running from basal area to just below apex distinguishes C. amatrix. See large Catocala amatrix courtesy of Joan F. Rickert.

** 8834 amatrix form selecta Sweetheart Underwing; (wingspan 75-95mm)
Very skittish and frequently hides in caves, under bridges, under tree bark, etc. by day, resting with head down. Several forms, including selecta (to the left) which lacks dark bar on forewing. Hesseli: melanic form; pallida: very pale form.

** 8834 amatrix form hesseli Sweetheart Underwing; (wingspan 75-95mm)
Very skittish and frequently hides in caves, under bridges, under tree bark, etc. by day, resting with head down. The melanic form hesseli is very dark and displays dark basal hairs in the hindwing.

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Visit "Systematics of moths in the genus Catocala (Lepidoptera, Erebidae) IV.
Nomenclatorial stabilization of the Nearctic fauna, with a revised synonymic check list";
ZooKeys 39: 37–83 (2010) by Lawrence F. Gall, David C. Hawks

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