Catocala epione
(Drury, [1773]) Phalaena epione

The Epione Underwing, July 28, 2003, courtesy of Tom Murray copyright

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Superfamily: Noctuoidea
Family: Noctuidae
Group: Noctuinina
Subfamily: Catocalinae
Genus: Catocala, Schrank, 1802


"Moon River"
copyright C. Odenkirk

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The Catocala epione moth (wingspan: 55-65mm) flies from Quebec (rare) and Ontario south through New Hampshire, Connecticut, Tennessee to Florida and west to Texas and eastern Oklahoma.

Tom Middagh reports them in Minnesota.

Alabama, Arkansas, Delaware, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Mississippi, Missouri, Nebraska, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Virginia, West Virginia and Wisconsin.

The pm line is squared and has a brown band and then a light band just outside the line. The hindwing is black with pure white fringe with no barring.

Catocala epione is the same as C. marginata, Fabricius, 1775.

The beautiful image of the specimen to the right was taken by John Himmelman in Connecticut, August 9, 2003. This species flies to the ground when threatened.


In northern portions of its range, Catocala epione flies as a single generation with moths on the wing from late June to early September.

Catocala epione, Londonderry, Rockingham County, New Hampshire,
July 17 - August 3, courtesy of Deb Lievens.

Catocala epione, Londonderry, Rockingham County, New Hampshire,
July 17 - August 3, courtesy of Deb Lievens.

In more southerly locales there may be multiple flights with moths on the wing from early June, but it is generally felt that all Catocala species are univoltine.

Catocala epione male, Neiley's Landing, Missouri,
June 1995, courtesy of Pierre Legault.

The Catocala epione caterpillar shows a preference for Carya ovata (shagbark hickory).

Moths come in to lights and to bait.

Catocala epione, Shreveport, Caddo Parish, Louisiana,
March 25, 2011, courtesy of Jeff Trahan.


Adults eclose from pupae formed under leaf litter.

The Epione Underwing, lights, Woodlawn, Montgomery County, Tennessee,
June 29, 2008, courtesy of Tom Payne.

Visit Catocala epione, Athol, Worcester County, Massachusetts, July 17, 2012, Dave Small.

Visit Catocala epione, Franklin, Hampshire County, Massachusetts, August 7, 2015, Betsy Higgins


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

The Epione Underwing, by Dale Clark, June 8, Texas.


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

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.

Carya ovata......

Shagbark hickory

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