Catocala similis

Catocala similis
kah-TOCK-uh-lah mmSIM-ih-lis
Edwards, 1864

Catocala similis courtesy of Lynn Scott.

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


"Moon River"
copyright C. Odenkirk

<bgsound src="moon.mid" LOOP=FOREVER>


Catocala similis, the Similar Underwing (wingspan: 35-45mm), flies from Ontario and Quebec south through Maine and Connecticut to Florida, west to Texas and Oklahoma and north to Minnesota.

The pale triangular patch from the postmedial line along the costa, pointed at the apex, and the light-coloured, tear-shaped reniform spot distinguish this species. Tim Dyson photo.

The subreniform spot also projects considerably beyond the reniform anteriorally at a right angle to the line of the subreniform.

It has also been recorded in Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Maryland, Michigan, Missouri, Mississippi, North Carolina, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia, Wisconsin and West Virginia.

Many specimens also have a small, light coloured, flattened oval spot about halfway between the pm and am lines at about the midpoint of the reniform spot. The pm line is almost straight for most of its length.

Catocala similis courtesy of Pierre Legault.


Catocala similis are usually on the wing from May in Texas and Alabama (DB: May 11), and from June to July in most other areas.

The Catocala similis caterpillar feeds primarily on oaks.


Adults eclose from pupae at soil surface.

Catocala similis, Buffalo County, Wisconsin,
July 16, 2014, courtesy of Marcie O'Connor.


Catocala similis 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.....
Quercus stellata

Post oak

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