Catocala chelidonia chelidonia

Catocala chelidonia chelidonia
Grote, 1881

Catocala chelidonia chelidonia female, three miles north of Sunflower, Maricopa County, Arizona,
June 21, 2011, courtesy of Evan Rand.

This site has been created by Bill Oehlke.
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Superfamily: Noctuoidea
Family: Erebidae, Leach, [1815]
Subfamily: Erebinae, Leach, [1815]
Tribe: Catocalini, Boisduval, [1828]
Genus: Catocala, Schrank, 1802


Catocala chelidonia, (wingspan: 45-50mm) flies from Arizona and Utah to California, as far north as Napa, CA..

It is also reported in Nevada and New Mexico.

Three subspecies are now (2010) recognized:
Catocala chelidonia chelidonia Grote, 1881; widest distribution
Catocala chelidonia occidentalis Hawks, 2010, from California only;
Catocala chelidonia uniforma Hawks, 2010, from mountains of southeastern Arizona and southwestern New Mexico only.

Catocala chelidonia chelidonia, Prescott, Yavapai County, Arizona,
holotype male, courtesy of David Hawks.

"Catocala chelidonia is similar only to C. mcdunnoughi. The more brownish and mottled ground color in C. mcdunnoughi will usually separate these species. Also, in C. chelidonia, the teeth of the postmedial line at M1 and M2 are usually longer than other teeth, but usually not as conspicuous as in C. mcdunnoughi.

Catocala chelidonia chelidonia occurs from
southeastern California: San Bernardino;
southern Nevada: Clark, Lincoln; and
south-central Utah: Garfield, Washington southward and eastward
through Arizona: Apache, Coconino, Gila, Maricopa, Mohave, Pinal, Yavapai; to
New Mexico: Bernalillo, Grant, Sandoval and Sierra. David Hawks

Catocala chelidonia, Arizona, courtesy of Bruce Walsh.


Moths are on the wing from mid-June to late July.

The Catocala chelidonia chelidonia caterpillar feeds on Quercus turbinella.


Adults eclose from pupae at soil surface.

Catocala chelidonia chelidonia, Prescott, Yavapai County, Arizona,
allotype female, courtesy of David Hawks.


Catocala chelidonia 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 chelidonia subspecies ?? third instar, courtesy of Gabriel Larrabee. copyright

Catocala chelidonia subspecies ?? fifth instar, courtesy of Gabriel Larrabee. copyright

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 turbinella ......

Shrub Live Oak

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