Catocala caesia
David Hawks, 2010

Catocala caesia, 55mm, courtesy of Jim Vargo.

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


Catocala caesia (8837.1), Caesia Underwing or Bluish-gray Underwing, (wingspan: 47-55mm) flies in the mountains of southeastern Arizona: Cochise and Pima counties, and in southwestern New Mexico, and southward through the Sierra Madre Occidental in Chihuahua, Mexico.

Catocala caesia, South Fork of Cave Creek, Chiricahua Mountains, Cochise County, Arizona,
holotype male, 28 May 1985, courtesy of David Hawks, from ZooKeys online publication.

The forewing is a blotchy blue-grey-brown with some lighter areas. The double am line with its lighter "filler" is dark and thick/diffuse. The distinct pm line is black, thinner than the am line, and traced outwardly with a thin white line. There are no greatly elongated teeth.

The reniform spot has a pale brown center and is faintly outlined in black. The small subrectangular subreniform spot is almost pure white, is indented on its inward side and is narrowly outlined in black.

The hindwing is bright yellow, with unchecked/lightly checked yellow fringes. There is some light brown scaling in the basal median area. The inner black band is relatively thin, turns at an acute angle toward the im, but is bluntly truncated well bfore reaching the inner margin. It seems to be followed by a small dark dot. The outer margin is bluntly truncated well before reaching the inner margin. It is followed by a larger black dot near the base of the inner margin.

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Catocala caesia, Sunny Flat Camp Ground, Coronado National Forest, Cochise County, Arizona,
47mm, June 14-15, 1998, courtesy of Harry King, slight digital repair by Bill Oehlke.


Catocala caesia are on the wing from May to October. The Catocala caesia caterpillar probably eats oak species.

Catocala caesia courtesy of Bruce Walsh, Arizona.


Adults eclose from pupae at soil surface.

Catocala caesia allotype female, courtesy of David Hawks.


Catocala caesia 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.

Larval Food Plants

Listed below are anticipated ?? 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 .......


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Visit Catocala delilah Species Complex; Author: David Hawks.