Catocala of Idaho

Compiled by Bill Oehlke.

Catocala neogama, Idaho, courtesy of Steve Danell, id by Larry Gall.

Regarding the image above, Steve Danell writes, "Attached is a picture of a Catocala (I believe) larva I thought you might enjoy. We found it on 6/20/07 in Ada County, Idaho, on a black walnut when it 'jumped' onto my son's shoulder as he climbed the tree. After my son calmed down, without falling out of the tree, we decided to raise this guy to see exactly what it turns out to be. It only comes in the open to eat after it is extremely dark and it thrashes about violently when disturbed!"

Dr. Larry Gall provided the id and indicates it is lightly maculated compared to most C. neogama larvae.

The following Catocala species are either confirmed by Idaho Fish and Wildlife or suspected from the state of Idaho or confirmed by others.

Please report sightings to Bill Oehlke. If you send electronic images, I can probably do the ids or will find someone who can help.

Visit Idaho Sphingidae: Hawk Moths/Sphinx Moths


Small-Medium Orange-Salmon Underwings: Wingspans: 65mm and under

verrilliana; Verrill's Underwing; 45-60mm. Closed, subtriangular subreniform spot large, light in colour. Light patch runs from subreniform diagonally to costa. Dark area on basal side of aml, ight patches between pml and subterminal line distinguish this species. Note orange hw fringe. July-September, oaks.

** 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.

faustina; 58 mm
Forewing markings are relatively weak on almost uniform drab grey-brown ground colour. The two middle "teeth" in the forewing postmedial line are relatively short. The hindwing inner band is narrow and truncated well before the inner margin. Black extenssions into white hindwing fringe continue as thin lines along veins. June until October; willows

californica; 65mm. Fws dark, gritty. Markings indistinct. Dark, large reniform spot; am and pm lines indistinct. Subterminal line inwardly lined with light scales. Hw fringe white, checked halfway to outer edge with black, black lines on veins extending through fringe. Some orange bleeding at apex. Black median band ends well before im. June until August; willow or walnut??

Catocala hermia; Hermia Underwing: 58-68mm; pinkish: Fw almost uniform, grey-brown or clay coloured; thin, yet contrasting lines. Distinct large double reniform spot. Large concolourous subrenifrom spot usually open. Hw pinkish red, relatively even, narrow black bands. Inner black band ends before im. Fringe white, checked, pink/red "bleeding" along outer band, near apex.

Medium Orange-Salmon Underwings: Wingspans: 65mm - 75mm

irene; Irene's Underwing; 65-75mm. Fw grey brown, darker upper half basal area, around reniform spot, indistinct arc near apex. Sbrnfrm spot lighter, open into pm area. Hw median black band pointed before reaching im. Outer band scalloped near a. a.. Probably southeast; poplars, willows

faustina allusa. White interior outline of terminal line is typical of this species and two jagged upper "teeth" of postmedial line are typical of most poplar feeders. There is also a dark bar a few mm up from inner margin of the forewing. Subreniform spot and area interior and above tend to be lighter. willows and poplars

#8817 briseis; Briseis Underwing; 60-70mm: Fws predominantly mottled dark-grey-brown with some lighter areas between pm and subterminal lines, at base of am and pm lines along im, and over subreniform spot running diagonally toward costa. Pm lines lack greatly elongated and sharly pointed "teeth" near apex. Hw fringe white, unbroken; inner black band (fairly even) reaches ima. July-September, probably northern only; willows and poplars

** 8821 semirelicta; Semirelict Underwing; wingspan: 65-75mm. Fw ground colour white with dark lines and shadings. Diffuse dark bar runs from center of basal area to outer margin a few mm above anal angle. Note regular dentation of st line. Inner black bar on lower wing usually terminates well before inner margin. The form "atala" has forewing that is uniformly grey. Unijuga is usually larger and has less contrasting black lines. Inner black bar on unijuga usually reaches inner margin. Tim Dyson image.

Catocala grotiana; Grote's Underwing: 70-80mm: The white outlines outside the postmedial and inside the subterminal lines make this species stand out. The hindwing inner black band is even and relatively thin and terminates well before the inner margin. The fringe is heavily checked and charcoal grey along the inner margin. Hindwings can be orange or red. August until September; willows

Large Orange-Salmon Underwings: Wingspans: 75mm and larger

** 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.

July until September, probably southeast; oaks
Tim Dyson image.

aholibah; 80-90mm: Fw is mix of grey and brown, with preponderance of brown in subterminal area. Double reniform spot has diffuse brown outline of inner oval. Subreniform spot is small, distinctly outlined in black, light coloured and does not connect to pm line. Upper two teeth of pm line are elongate and are followed by relatively smooth line til next tooth below the subreniform spot. Hindwing salmon or pinkish.

Catocala junctura; Joined Underwing; 67-85mm. Fw is usually dark brownish-gray to evenly powdered blue-grey w/o significant markings. Doubled reniform spot often obscure. Thin, slightly darker am and pm lines run from costa to im, not widely spaced at im. Hw salmon/ orange-pink, narrow inner black band turns in sharply, does not meet dark-haired im. May until October; poplars and willows

** 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.

** 8805 unijuga; Once-married; wingspan: 70-90mm: Catocala unijuga has a fairly wide black inner band (almost reaching inner margin) in hindwing and very distinctive patterning in forewing. Meskei tend to have narrower band and dustier (less distinct) looking forewing. Semirelicta tend to have inner bands that terminate well before inner margins. Also note the very white fringe on both the forewings and hindwings. Carroll Rudy image.


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

** 8803 Catocala relicta ; Forsaken, White, Relict; 70-80mm: Considerable variation with regard to black/white concentrations on fws.
Typical specimens have basal and subterminal areas with blackish scales.

Black hws, with brilliant even white inner band and white fringe, are distinctive. June until October.

** 8803 Catocala relicta ; Forsaken, White, Relict; 70-80mm: Considerable variation with regard to black/white concentrations on fws. Form clara: basal and subterminal areas predominantly white.

Typical specimens have basal and subterminal areas with blackish scales. Black hws, with brilliant even white inner band and white fringe, are distinctive. June until October.

** 8803 Catocala relicta ; Forsaken, White, Relict; 70-80mm: Considerable variation with regard to black/white concentrations on fws. Form phrynia: evenly dusted with grey over entire forewing. Typical specimens have basal and subterminal areas with blackish scales. Black hws, with brilliant even white inner band and white fringe, are distinctive. June until October, poplars and willows


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