Catocala badia
Grote and Robinson, 1866

Catocala badia, Bay Underwing, Monhegan Island, Sullivan County, Maine,
August 31, 2007, courtesy of Steve Nnz.

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 badia (wingspan: 50-60mm) flies in southern Maine and New Hampshire south to New York and Connecticut. Mo Nielsen reports it as far west as Michigan.

It has also been reported in Massachusetts, New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Rhode Island.

Hartmut Rietz, who sends the image of Catocala badia larva, near bottom of this page, writes, "During my stay on Nantucket Island (Massachusetts) in June last year, I got some Catocala badia caterpillars by net-sweeping. The caterpillars were not yet half grown and were swept from wax myrtle. In captivity they ate sweet fern as well. End of August three adults emerged in pefect condition."

Catocala badia, Jamaica Bay, New York,
June 30, 2008, courtesy of Steve Walter.

"FW buff-brown, with deeper brown in basal area and within pm line (sometimes nearly filling area between am and pm lines); contrastingly paler beyond pm line; lines faint, barely traceable. HW yellow-orange with black bands; often with terminal yellow-orange line at base of fringe. Specimens from New Hampshire may appear transitional to coelebs, having the sharp bend of upper part of pm area and the more distinct lines of that species."

The same is true for some of the images provided by Steve Nanz from Monhegan Island, Sullivan County, Maine.

Catocala badia, Bay Underwing, Monhegan Island, Sullivan County, Maine,
August 31, 2007, courtesy of Steve Nanz.

Catocala badia, Bay Underwing, Monhegan Island, Sullivan County, Maine,
August 31, 2007, courtesy of Steve Nanz.

This site has been created by


Catocala badia probably flies as a single generation. The Catocala badia caterpillar shows a preference for Comptonia peregrina (sweetfern) and Myrica cerifera (Southern bayberry/Southern wax myrtle) and Myrica pensylvanica (Northern bayberry).


Adults eclose from .


Catocala badia 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 badia fifth instar, Nantucket Island, Massachusetts,
found on wax myrtle, reared on sweetfern, courtesy of Hartmut Rietz.

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.

Comptonia peregrina
Myrica cerifera
Myrica pensylvanica.....

Southern bayberry/Southern wax myrtle
Northern bayberry

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