Catocala of Wyoming

Catocala relicta, form "clara", courtesy of Tim Dyson copyright.

This tentative checklist was originally compiled by Bill Oehlke, based on what I think are reasonably accurate lists for Montana, Colorado, Idaho and Utah.

As of April 4, 2010, this page has been further updated as per extensive 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 Wyoming Sphingidae: Hawk Moths/Sphinx Moths.

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

Many thanks to Leroy Koehn who has sent sightings with data for several Wyoming Catocala. Leroy has also sent a tentative sighting for Catocala benjamini which would represent a significant northward extension of its known range. Leroy writes, "However, the best catch to date was a single male of Catocala benjamini (Will confirm when I return home) on the wall of the motel (Hampton Inn) in Rock Springs, WY."


Small Orange-Yellow Underwings: Wingspans: 50mm and under

**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. probably just eastern Wyoming

** 8865 praeclara; Praeclara Underwing, (40-50mm); The forewing is a 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.
subspecies manitoba is in Wyoming Tim Dyson image.

Catocala benjamini; 50 mm. Catocala benjamini reportedly flies as nominate susbspecies in AZ, NV, southern CA; southern UT. Catocala benjamini mayhewi flies in southern CA. Catocala benjamini jumpi flies in the Kofa Mountains of AZ. Catocala benjamini ute flies in southeastern UT in Balaneed Rock Area at elevations around 1610 m.

Catocala benjamini; Rock Springs; July 13, 2014, tentative id by Leroy Koehn

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

** 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, 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 K-P; 58 mm: Fw markings relatively weak on almost uniform drab grey-brown ground colour. two middle "teeth" in fw postmedial line relatively short. hW inner band narrow, truncated well before inner margin. Black extenssions into white hindwing fringe continue as thin lines along veins. June until October; willows

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.

Catocala semirelicta ; Casper, Wyoming; July 13, 2014, Leroy Koehn

** 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.

Catocala semirelicta ; Casper, Wyoming; July 13, 2014, Leroy Koehn

** 8808 luciana; Luciana Underwing, 57-68mm. Pale grey brown forewing with very distinct am & postmedial lines. Subreniform spot has elongated narrow "tail" that seems to open through postmedial line. Inner black band of hw does not reach inner margin. Fringe is checked and paler (almost yellow) than salmon ground colour.

#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

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

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

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.

Tim Dyson image.

Catocala grotiana; Grote's Underwing: 70-80mm: White outlines outside pm and inside subterminal lines distinguish this species. Hw inner black band: even, relatively thin, terminates well before inner margin. Fringe heavily checked and charcoal grey along inner margin. Hws orange or red. August until September; willows

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

** 8805 unijuga; Once-married; wingspan: 70-90mm: fairly wide black inner band (almost reaching HW inner margin); very distinctive patterning in fw. Meskei tend to have narrower band ; dustier (less distinct) looking fw. Semirelicta tend to have inner bands terminating well before inner margins. Also note very white fringe on both forewings and hindwings.

** 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

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. confirmed; LK

Catocala aholibah; Casper, Wyoming; July 13, 2014, Leroy Koehn

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

Large Pink Underwings

** 8834 amatrix Sweetheart Underwing: 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: 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: 3783 (2010) by Lawrence F. Gall, David C. Hawks

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