Catocala amestris
kah-TOCK-uh-lahMa-MES-tris
Strecker, 1874

Catocala amestris, Florida, courtesy of Leroy Simon.

This site has been created by Bill Oehlke.
Comments, suggestions and/or additional information are welcomed by Bill.

TAXONOMY:

Superfamily: Noctuoidea
Family: Erebidae, Leach, [1815]
Subfamily: Erebinae, Leach, [1815]
Tribe: Catocalini, Boisduval, [1828]
Genus: Catocala, Schrank, 1802

DISTRIBUTION:

Catocala amestris, the Three-staff Underwing (wingspan 43-50mm), flies from North Carolina south to Florida and west to Texas and Oklahoma. It is reported as endangered in Michigan and Illinois and possibly in other states north of the Carolinas.

It has also been reported in eastern South Dakota: Clay County: Vermillion (Tom Middagh) and in Manitoba: Winnipeg (Richard Westwood).

it has also been reported in Arkansas, Colorado, Georgia, Indiana, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, South Carolina, Tennessee and Wisconsin.

In form "westcotti" the outer black band is complete.

In others, the band is broken as in abbreviatella.

Hindwing ground colour is usually deeper yellow-orange than in similar species.

Catocala amestris "westcotti",
Georgia, courtesy of James K. Adams.

Catocala amestris form 'abbreviatella', Winnipeg, Manitoba,
courtesy of Richard Westwood, Dept. of Biology, University of Winnipeg.

Catocala amestris form 'westcotti', Winnipeg, Manitoba,
courtesy of Richard Westwood, Dept. of Biology, University of Winnipeg.

FLIGHT TIMES AND PREFERRED FOOD PLANTS:

Catocala amestris are usually on the wing from July through August.

The Catocala amestris caterpillar shows a preference for Amorpha canescens, Amorpha fruticosa and Robinia pseudoacacia.

Catocala amestris, Vermillion, Clay County, South Dakota,
46mm, July 30, 2008, courtesy of Tom Middagh.

ECLOSION:

Adults eclose from pupae at soil surface.

Catocala amestris, Buffalo County, Wisconsin,
July 17, 2013, courtesy of Marcie O'Connor.

SCENTING AND MATING:

Catocala amestris females emit an airbourne pheromone and males use their antennae to track the scent plume.

Catocala amestris, Vermillion, Clay County, South Dakota,
43mm, July 4, 2009, Mitch Marcotte, courtesy of Tom Middagh.

Catocala amestris (verso), Vermillion, Clay County, South Dakota,
43mm, July 4, 2009, Mitch Marcotte, courtesy of Tom Middagh.

EGGS, CATERPILLARS, COCOONS AND PUPAE:

Eggs are deposited on tree bark in the fall and hatch the following spring.

Catocala amestris final instar courtesy of J.K. Adams.

Larval Food Plants


Listed below are primary food plant(s) and alternate food plants. It is hoped that this alphabetical listing followed by the common name of the foodplant will prove useful. The list is not exhaustive, although some species seem very host specific. Experimenting with closely related foodplants is worthwhile.

Amorpha canescens
Amorpha fruticosa
Robinia pseudoacacia ......

Pursh/Lead plant
Desert False Indigo/Bastard Indigo/Indigo Bush
Black locust

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This page is brought to you by Bill Oehlke and the WLSS. Pages are on space rented from Bizland. If you would like to become a "Patron of the Sphingidae/Catocala Sites", contact Bill.

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Enjoy one of nature's wonderments: Live Saturniidae (Giant Silkmoth) cocoons.

Catocala amestris, Estill County, Kentucky, August 7, 2010, courtesy of Sally Ramsdell.


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