Catocala from Vermont

Catocala amatrix, Newport, Orleans County, Vermont,
September 5, 2011, courtesy of Jane Housewright.

The following checklist for Vermont was sent to me by Jeff Crolla. The list was compiled in 1995 (Grehan et al.).

I have added some species, marked unconfirmed, based on records from Quebec and/or Ontario combined with records from New Hampshire and/or other nearby states.

I have begun to include thumbnails of some of the various forms. Over time I hope to have them all covered.

Please help me improve the documented accuracy of this site by sending sighting data (date and location, bait, flowers, lights) and electronic images to Bill Oehlke. I will do my best to identify specimens if you need/want assistance. All images that I post on my websites are credtied to respective photographers and remain the property of the photographers.

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.

Catocala amatrix, Newport, Orleans County, Vermont,
September 5, 2011, courtesy of Jane Housewright.

This page is dedicated to Jane Housewright who sends beautiful images of Catocala amatrix, which are, I believe, the first Catocala images I have received from Vermont. In 2009 Jane had sent me an image of Paonias myops from same area and it is posted on Vermont: Orleans County Sphingidae page.

Many thanks also to JoAnne Russo who has sent images of Catocala cara and Catocala concumbens from Saxtons River, Windham County, southeastern Vermont.

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

Visit Vermont Sphingidae: Hawk Moths.

Little Yellow-Orange Underwings: Wingspans: 35-45mm

**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.

** 8873 similis; Similar Underwing, wingspan: 35-45mm. unconfirmed Pale triangular patch from pm line along costa, pointed at apex, light-coloured, tear-shaped reniform spot distinguish this species. Subreniform spot projects considerably beyond reniform anteriorally at right angle to line of subreniform. Many specimens have small, light coloured, flattened oval spot about halfway between pm and am lines at about midpoint of reniform spot. Pm line almost straight for most of length.

** 8846 sordida; Sordid Underwing, wingspan: 37-45mm. Fw is lighter along costa and darker along inner margin. Dark medial lines are especially evident through lighter shades near costa. Outer black band of the hindwing is broken near the anal angle. I made the determination on the moth to the left based on dark scaling along the inner margin limited to median area and submarginal "teeth" relatively short and blunt. Tim Dyson image.

Little Yellow-Orange Underwings: Wingspans: 35-56mm
These tend to be slightly larger on average than preceding group.

** 8876 Catocala micronympha, the Little Nymph Underwing, (wingspan: 35-50mm). John Himmelman image. Usual specimens have grey forewings shaded with green, brown, black and white tints. Usually a darkened band passing from costa through reniform spot to outer margin. High variability. Full size Joe Garris photo of C. micronympha form hero.

** 8876 Catocala micronympha form gisela, the Little Nymph Underwing, (wingspan: 35-50mm).
The usual specimens have grey forewings shaded with green, brown, black and white tints. There is usually a darkened band passing from the costa through the reniform spot to the outer margin. Form "gisela" Meyer has a forewing that is mostly black. Leroy Simon image.

** 8876 Catocala micronympha form hero, the Little Nymph Underwing, (wingspan: 35-50mm). The usual specimens have grey forewings shaded with green, brown, black and white tints. There is usually a darkened band passing from the costa through the reniform spot to the outer margin. Form "hero" H. Edwards has a median area that is mostly white.
Joe Garris image.

** 8876 Catocala micronympha form lolita, the Little Nymph Underwing, (wingspan: 35-50mm).

Form "lolita" Sargent has very dark forewings.

Harold J. Vermes image, used with permission from his son.

** 8876 Catocala micronympha form sargenti, the Little Nymph Underwing, (wingspan: 35-50mm). Usual specimens have grey forewings shaded with green, brown, black and white tints. Usually a darkened band passing from costa through reniform spot to outer margin. Form "sargenti" Covell (very rare) has a hindwing that is all black.

** 8877 connubialis, Connubial Underwing, (wingspan: 35-50mm). unconfirmed FW highly variable. Several different forms: "sancta" Hulst: typical form; fws with white ground colour and sharply contrasting black lines and markings. There is also brown shading between pm and subterminal lines; "cordelia" H. Edwards: coloured as above but markings are faint; "pulverulenta" Brower: grey-green fws with faint markings, sometimes none; "broweri" Muller: melanic form with fws that are dark green, almost black. Hw: separate anal spot and outer band ends with straight cut.

** 8847 gracilis, Graceful Underwing, (wingspan: 40-45mm): Gracilis closely resembles sordida but the hindwing loop is not complete in gracilis as it is in sordida.
Gracilis also tends to have a darker inner margin and there is frequently (99% of the time, Dale Schweitzer, via Joe Garris), but not always, a basal dash. Sordida never has the basal dash.

** 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 is pale greenish-grey with considerable contrasting brown shading beyond post medial line.

There is black basal dash very close to inner margin and another dash, higher up in median area.

Note the contrasting shapes of the reniform and subreniform spots. Tim Dyson image.

** 8867 Catocala blandula; Charming Underwing, wingspan: 40-50mm.
Pale basal area of fw distinguishes mira from blandula (dark brown) and crataegi (black). Fw has dark contrasting lines as in crataegi. There is also considerable brown in subterminal area and subreniform spot is very conspicuous and usually brown. A light area runs obliquely from the costa to the subreniform spot. hw is deep orange and has a complete inner black band. The outer black band is unbroken.

Lynn Scott image.

Catocala mira; Wonderful Underwing, wingspan: 40-50mm. Pale basal area of fw distinguishes mira from blandula (dark brown) and crataegi (black). Fw lacks dark contrasting lines of crataegi and blandula. Considerable brown in subterminal area and subreniform spot very conspicuous, usually brown. Light area runs obliquely from costa to subreniform spot. Noticeable space along i. m. between antemedial and postmedial lines. Hw deep orange and has a complete inner black band. The outer black band is unbroken Tim Dyson image.

** 8858 Catocala crataegi DL; 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. There is also a definite greenish cast to median area. Hw has outer black band, broken near the anal angle, distinguishing crataegi from blandula. Tim Dyson image.

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

** 8776 badia coelebs; Old Maid Underwing, wingspan 54-56mm: unconfirmed The gray region from the forewing pm line to the outer margin readily distinguishes this species. The fringe is gray on the lower wing from the brief orange dash at the hindwing apex to the anal angle.

Tim Dyson image.

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.

** 8779 serena Serene Underwing unconfirmed The head and collar and abdomen are brown while the thorax is grey. The am and pm lines are thin but very dark and distinct on an otherwise drab, almost uniformly olive-grey forewing. The black marginal band of the lower wings is indented at the center, and the relatively narrow, deep yellow median band parallels this indentation. Basal hairs are brown. Catocala serena courtesy of Carroll Rudy, July 28, Calumet County.

#8778 Catocala habilis; 55-65mm: Large thoracic "M" and "pork chop" shaped, light sbrnfrm spot becoming very dark in constriction at juncture with narrow, dark, distinct pm line. Pm line outwardly lined with narrow suffusion of white scales, followed by broader brown scaled band, another broader suffusion of white scales up to very regular dentation of sbtrmnl line. Always significant "bleeding" of yellow-orange to salmon scales into hw fringes. Large reniform spot brown center, faintly edged with black, white, black again.

#8817 briseis; Briseis Underwing; 60-70mm: Fws predominantly mottled dark-grey-brown with some lighter areas 1) between pm and subterminal lines, 2) at very base of am pm lines along inner margin, and 3) over subreniform spot running diagonally toward costa. Pm lines have no greatly elongated and sharly pointed "teeth" near apex. Hw fringe white and unbroken and inner black band (fairly even) reaches i. m..

#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.

** 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.

** 8851 Catocala coccinata; Scarlet; wingspan: 57-70mm: Usually diffuse basal, anal dashes on light grey, mottled fw. Hw fringe white (often with some salmon scaling) and heavily checked. "Tooth" just below pair of very elongated "teeth" much reduced, quite rounded, usually allowing considerable room for lighter patch of scales. Dark bar crosses thorax. Reniform spot light, often with greenish cast. Joe Garris image.

Solid Black Underwings: Smallest to Largest, Similar Species Paired

Catocala andromedae tristis, Gloomy Underwing, (wingspan: 40-50mm). unconfirmed Black underwings and dark grey hw fringe, coupled with dark fw inner margin help to identify this species. Very dark "flying saucer" shape adjoins subreniform spot to midpoint of antemedial line. "Teeth" of postmedian line short, blunt, outwardly edged with white. Subterminal line also outwardly edged with white.

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

** 8782 Catocala flebelis unconfirmed; Mournful Underwing, wingspan: 54-65mm; Diffuse black band runs from basal area to o. m. just below apex, interrupted by pale grey subreniform spot. Reniform spot filled with brown, additional brown outside pm line. No anal dash as in angusi. Hws have white fringe. Probably only in southern counties; rare, if present.

** 8773 Catocala epione ; 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.

** 8790 Catocala dejecta unconfirmed, (wingspan: 56-73mm). Quite similar to Catocala retecta. Light coloured subreniform spot open, but has distinct "pork-chop" shape, separates a much darker median area below subreniform spot from very light area to costa above spot. Lower quarter of submarginal area also much darker in C. dejecta than in C. retecta. If present, probably only in southern counties. rare, if present

Catocala retecta; wingspan: 60-75mm. Note light coloured, elongated, open subreniform spot interrupting dark, diffuse ark running through center of wing from basal area (body-wing juncture) to fw apex. Center of reniform spot brown, brown area just below costa running to i. m. just outside pm line. Off-white hw fringe only lightly checked along the wing veins. Joe Garris image.

** 8784 obscura unconfirmed; Obscure Underwing, (wingspan: 60-72mm): dull, grey fws, usually void of any significant dashes or streaks, providing for easy identification. Antemedial, median and postmedial lines of obscura are faint, and subterminal line region is only slightly paler than the rest of the forewing. The hindwing fringe is off-white and lightly checked on the veins. Joe Garris photo.

Catocala residua, Residua Underwing, yes, (wingspan: 58-73mm), Distinguished from C. obscura by grey hindwing fringe of residua. C. obscura has white to off-white fringe, tends to be less common in northern portions of its range. Fw subterminal line/area of C. residua tends to be pale as is its open, elongated subreniform spot.
Devoid of significant markings except for hint of dark bar running from basal area through reniform spot to om just below apex.

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

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

** 8802 Catocala cerogama; Yellow-Banded; 70-80mm. There are several different forms. The pm line is distinct, dark and has an elongate pair of projections. The pm and am lines meet the inner margin in relative proximity. The closed subreniform spot it lighter than surrounding areas, and it is shaped a bit like an arrowhead with the point toward the body. The hindwings 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

** 8822 meskei; Meske's Underwing; wingspan: 65-75mm: Forewings less distinctly marked compared to unijuga with some red-orange at hw apex and just inside fringe along the outer margin in meskei that is lacking in unijuga. Forewing subreniform spot is opened or connected to postmedian line. Hindwing postmedian band is nearly straight, turned in and tapering near anal angle. Tim Dyson image.

** 8821 semirelicta; Semirelict Underwing; wingspan: 65-75mm: Forewing ground colour is 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 the lower wing usually terminates well before inner margin. Form "atala" has forewing that is uniformly grey. Unijuga usually larger with less contrasting black lines. Inner black bar on unijuga usually reaches inner margin. Tim Dyson 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.

Catocala ilia larva, Calais, Washington County, Vermont, July 7, 2011, courtesy of Allyson Evans, via Bill Evans.

** 8857.1 Catocala umbrosa unconfirmed; mm; Double brown am line, inward line fainter, filled with off white; reniform spot brown center outlined in black , off white and black again; subreniform, large, pale brown, closed. Pm line wit htwo elongated upper teeth, next tooth reduced, next two progressively longer, rounded, final lobe rounded and shorter. HW with dark scaling/hairs in basal median area along im

** 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.

** 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.

** 8805 unijuga; Once-married; 70-90mm.

Form agatha has a much darker, evenly grey forewing.

Hindwings have some darker hairs in basal area. Note very white fringe on both forewings & hindwings. June to october, willows

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

** 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.

** 8797 Catocala subnata; Youthful Underwing: 75-90mm. Fws greyish white with blue-grey and light brown scales, usually with hws brighter yellow than those of neogama. Neogama usually have basal dash; absent in male subnata, but present in females. Magnification of hind tibia needed for id: subnata: cylindrical hind tibia; neogama: compressed or flattened hind tibia. subnata: ventral surface of tibia densely covered with evenly distributed spines; neogama: ventral surface of tibia sparsely covered.

** 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

** 8833 concumbens Sleepy Underwing or Pink Underwing (wingspan: 60-75mm).
This brown thoracic collar is quite evident in this image as is the interruption in the pm line by the open subreniform spot.
The white hindwing fringe is only lightly checked on the wing veins. The vibrant pink bans are distinct in colour and also in their relatively smooth contour.

Catocala concumbens, Saxtons River, Windham Co., Sept. 18, 2011, JoAnne Russo.

** 8832 Catocala cara; Darling; wingspan 70-85mm: Note deep maroon almost purple cast to forewings, mixed with very pale green. Lower half of am and pm lines is barely visible. There are no distinctive bars or dashes. 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 cara, Saxtons River, Windham Co., Sept. 8, 2011, JoAnne Russo.

** 8834 amatrix 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 hindwing patterning and colouration are similar to that of Catocala concumbens, but the large size (wingspan 75-95mm) and the dark bar running from the basal area to just below the apex distinguishes Catocala amatrix.

** 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. There are several forms, including selecta (to the left) which lacks the dark bar on the forewing. Hesseli is a melanic form and pallida is a very pale form. Possibly hybridizes with C. cara.

** 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.

Catocala amatrix, Newport, Orleans County, September 5, 2011, Jane Housewright.

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