Catocala lineella

Catocala lineella
Grote, 1872

Catocala lineella male, Longueuil, Quebec,
July 22, 1994, courtesy of Pierre Legault.

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


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


Catocala lineella, the Little Lined underwing, Hodges# 8878.1, (wingspan: 35-40mm) flies from Ontario and Quebec south to Florida west to Texas and north to Ohio.

It has also been reported in Alabama, Arkansas, Connecticut, Delaware, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Nebraska , New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Vermont, Virginia, West Virginia and Wisconsin.

Catocala lineella is now (2010) given full species status.

Moths come in to lights and to bait.

Catocala lineella courtesy of James K. Adams.

Like C. amica, this species does not have a marginal black band on the hindwing. The forewing subreniform spot is pale and boldy outlined with black. There is a similar light brownish-gray patch in the upper half of the median area near the pm line, and just between the subreniform spot and the antemedian line there is a similarly coloured light patch paralleling the am lne.

The reniform spot is dark, less distinct and in a generally darker area.

Catocala lineella, Peterborough, Ontario, July 25, 2006.

Catocala lineella male, Longueuil, Quebec,
July 22, 1994, courtesy of Pierre Legault.

Catocala lineella form "curvifascia", Brower,1936,
courtesy of Hugh McGuinness, Sag Harbor, New York, September 13, 2002

The form "curvifascia" has a diffuse black-brown arc from the mid costa region toward the mid outer margin.

Catocala lineella form "curvifascia", courtesy of Ron Nelson.


Catocala amica lineella are usually on the wing from June until September.

Tim Dyson sends this nice ventral shot from Peterborough, Ontario, July 25, 2006, of a male feeding on fresh banana-beer mush. It took some time to entice the moth to land on and feed from the offering on the stick.

The Catocala amica lineella caterpillar shows a preference for oak species and probably limits itself to members of the Quercus genus.


Adults eclose from pupae at soil surface.

Visit Catocala lineella, Athol, Worcester County, Massachusetts, July 27, 2012; Aug. 4; Sept. 5, 2011, Dave Small.

Visit Catocala lineella, Pickens County, Georgia, August 22, 2009, Aubrey Scott.

Visit Catocala lineella, Ware, Hampshire County, Massachusetts, August 26, 2016, Martha Klassanos.


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


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

Catocala lineella form "curvifascia", courtesy of Ron Nelson.

Catocala lineella form "curvifascia", courtesy of Ron Nelson, Milwaukee.

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.

Quercus alba
Quercus bicolor
Quercus coccinea
Quercus ilicifolia
Quercus macrocarpa.......
Quercus prinoides
Quercus prinus
Quercus rubra
Quercus stellata
Quercus velutina

White oak
Swamp white oak
Scarlet oak
Bear oak
Bur oak
Dwarf chinkapin oak
Chestnut oak
Red oak
Post oak
Black oak

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