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The forewings of C. c. occidentalis are similar to those of other C. chelidonia subspecies.
The forewing dorsal surface ground color is charcoal to brownish gray, mottled with hoary scales. The antemedial and postmedial lines are black, and only modestly apparent. The subreniform spot is whitish to yellow, and is usually visible.
Distinguishing hindwing characters include a dorsal surface with many black scales/hairs in the basal area especially along the inner margin. C. c. occidentalis has a wider inner band, a narrower postmedial band, and a consistently darker yellowish color.
About five percent of the specimens of C. c. occidentalis examined could be confused with specimens of the nominate subspecies. David Hawks
The hindwing has pale areas of dull yellow orange. The bands are black; the apical spot is dull yellow orange; the anal spot is separated from outer band. There is a conspicuously narrow yellow postmedial band (usually only 1–2 mm near vein M2). The anterior half of the black outer band wide has a conspicuous rounded indentation in the inner edge between M2 and Cu1. David Hawks
Adult moths are on the wing from early June to late August, with the peak flight period in late June at Pinyon Flat.
SCENTING AND MATING:
Catocala chelidonia occidentalis females emit an airbourne pheromone and males use their antennae to track the scent plume.
Right: Catocala chelidonia occidentalis or C. mcdunnoughi male, Frazier Mountain Rd, 5750', Ventura County, CA., September 7, 1991. Kelly Richers, collector, at uv light.
Catocala chelidonia occidentalis or C. mcdunnoughi female, two miles south
of Fishcamp, 4700'.
Madera County, CA.. Kelly Richers, collector, at uv trap.
The late flight season (September) and high elevation (5750 feet) for the male also suggest C. mcdunnoughi.
In their recent (2010) publication, Gall and Hawks do not list either C. c. occidentalis or C. mcdunnoughi from Ventura County. They do site C. c occidentalis from Madera County, but C. mcdunnoughi is not listed there.
Catocala chelidonia subspecies ??, third instar, courtesy of Gabriel Larrabee. copyright
Catocala chelidonia subspecies ??, fifth instar, courtesy of Gabriel Larrabee. copyright
Quercus cornelius-mulleri ......
Muller oak/Desert scrub oak
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