Catocala judith

Catocala judith
Strecker, 1873

Catocala judith pair, bait, Montreal, Quebec,
August 18, 1993, courtesy of Pierre Legault.

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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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Catocala judith, Judiths's Underwing, (wingspan: 45-55mm; Hodges #8781), flies in Canada in southern Quebec (very rare) and Ontario and in the United States from New Hampshire south through Connecticut and New Jersey to North Carolina and Georgia, west to Oklahoma and Iowa and north to Wisconsin.

Catocala judith is also reported in Arkansas, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Tennessee, Vermont, Virginia and West Virginia.

I suspect it is also present in Delaware and District of Columbia, but I have no confirmed reports.

Catocala judith, Stillwater Township, Sussex County, New Jersey,
August 1, 2005, courtesy of Joe Garris.

Catocala judith, Stillwater Township, Sussex County, New Jersey,
August 1, 2005, courtesy of Joe Garris.

This is one of the smaller "black" underwings. The forewing is a uniform light grey with thin and only slightly darkened antemedial, median and postmedial lines. There are no darkened dashes (slight anal dash) or transverse lines. The reniform area is slightly darkened while the area just before the subterminal line is a bit lighter.

Catocala judith Canadian Biodiversity Information Facility

The hindwing fringe is almost the same color as the wing with no white.

Miranda has a white area on hindwing apex, slighly less prominent than that of andromedae. Andromedae also has a darker shaded area along the inner margin of the forewing, distinguishing it from judith.

Judith seems to be a late flier, waiting until 1:00am before visiting lights.

Catocala judith female underside, bait, Longueuil, Quebec,
August 12, 1992, courtesy of Pierre Legault.


Catocala judith are on the wing from July to early October. Peak flight is probably in August-September in the northern portions of range.

The Catocala judith caterpillar feeds on Juglans and Carya species: pecan and hickories.


Adults eclose from pupae at soil surface.


Catocala judith 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 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 illinoinensis.......
Carya ovata
juglans nigra

Shagbark hickory
Black walnut

Catocala judith, on my home computer only.

Catocala judith, Willshire, Van Wert County, Ohio,
July 12, 2012, courtesy of Greg Roehm, id by Bill Oehlke.

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