Oswego County, New York

The Olive Natural Heritage Society (TONHS), with funding from the New York State Biodiversity Research Institute, in cooperation with Dr. Timothy L. McCabe at the NYS Museum, is compiling a continuously updated list of the insects of New York State. This list is based on insects documented in Leonard, M.D., 1928, A List of the Insects of New York State and recent vouchered collections. Nomenclature will follow Poole, Robert W. 1996, Nomina Insecta Nearctica and recent published revisionary work. Those species cited by the Society are designated by TONHS.

This page is dedicated to and inspired by Randy Lyttle, who has sent me collecting data for some of the Catocala species he has encountered in Oswego County.

Not all of the species listed for all of New York by TONHS are expected in the northern New York counties. This page includes only those species confirmed by Randy Lyttle (RL) with additional listings, suspected, not confirmed by William Oehlke (WO??).

Please help improve the accuracy and comprehensive coverage by sending data/images to Bill Oehlke. All images ued are credited and remain the property of the respective photographers.

Little Yellow-Orange Underwings: Wingspans: 35-45mm

**8878 TONHS/WO?? Catocala amica; Girlfriend; 35-40mm. The black postmedian band is absent from the dorsal (upper) surface of the hindwing, but it is present on the ventral surface. Moths come in to lights and to bait. Catocala amica lineella is sometimes treated as a subspecies; sometimes as a distinct species.

John Himmelman image.

** 8878.1 /WO?? lineella; Little Lined Underwing; 35-40mm. No marginal black band on hindwing. Fw subreniform spot pale & boldy outlined with black. Similar light brownish-gray patch in upper half of median area near pm line, just between subreniform spot & am line is similarly coloured light patch paralleling am lne. Reniform spot dark, less distinct & in generally darker area. "Curvifascia": diffuse black-brown arc from mid costa region toward mid outer margin.

** 8873 TONHS/WO?? similis; Similar Underwing; 35-45mm. Pale triangular patch from pm line along costa, pointed at apex, & light-coloured, tear-shaped reniform spot distinguish this species. Subreniform spot projects considerably beyond reniform anteriorally at right angle to line of subreniform. Many specimens also have small, light coloured, flattened oval spot about halfway between pm & am lines at about midpoint of reniform spot. Pm line almost entirely straight.

Little Yellow-Orange Underwings: Wingspans: 35-56mm
These tend to be slightly larger on average than preceding group.

** 8876 TONHS/WO?? Catocala micronympha, the Little Nymph Underwing; 35-50mm. Usual specimens have grey forewings shaded with green, brown, black & white tints. Usually a darkened band passing from costa through reniform spot to outer margin. There is high variability with this species.
Full size Joe Garris photo of C. micronympha form hero.

** 8877 TONHS/WO?? connubialis, Connubial Underwing; 35-50mm). Fw highly variable; several different forms: "sancta" Hulst: typical form, forewings with white ground colour & sharply contrasting black lines & markings. Brown shading between post medial and subterminal lines; "cordelia" H. Edwards:s coloured as above, markings are faint; "pulverulenta" Brower: grey-green forewings with faint markings, sometimes none; "broweri" Muller: melanic form with fws dark green, almost black. Hw has separate anal spot and outer band ends with a straight cut.

** 8864 TONHS/RL Catocala grynea ; Woody Underwing; 40-50mm
The forewing is a dull greenish grey with orangey-brown shading along the inner margin. The antemedial, median and postmedial lines are quite faint.
Praeclara is somewhat similar but has a break in the brown shading between the am and pm lines. Praeclara also has a paler orange hindwing color.
Tim Dyson image.

Catocala gryneaa, Hannibal, Oswego County, August 15, 1997, Randy Lyttle.

** 8858 TONHS/WO?? Catocala crataegi WO; Hawthorn Underwing; 40-50mm. Determination is based on dark (black) shading in forewing basal area continuing along inner margin to anal angle and brown shading beyond postmedial line. There is also a definite greenish cast to median area. The lower wing has the outer black band, broken near the anal angle, distinguishing crataegi from blandula. Tim Dyson image.

** 8775 TONHS/WO?? antinympha; Sweetfern Underwing; 45-55mm. The very dark grey, almost black, forewing ground colour distinguishes antinympha. There is some brown shading in the subreniform spot and also just outside the postmedial line. The hindwing is amber to pale orange. There is also the form multoconspicua Reiff, 1919 with a pale, almost white subreniform spot. Tim Dyson image.

** 8772 TONHS/WO?? clintoni; Clinton's Underwing, wingspan 45-55mm.

The black basal dash distinguishes clintoni from illecta and abbreviatella, both of which lack the dash.

Vernon Brou image. probably rare if present

Catocala sordida 15-Aug-1997

** 8772 TONHS/WO?? gracilis; Graceful Underwing, wingspan 40-45mm.

Gracilis closely resembles sordida but the hindwing loop is not complete in gracilis as it is in sordida. Gracilis also tends to have a darker inner margin and there is frequently (99% of the time, Dale Schweitzer, via Joe Garris), but not always, a basal dash. Sordida never has the basal dash.

Midsized Orange-Salmon-Red-Scarlet Underwings: Wingspans: 50-72mm

** 8857 TONHS/RL Catocala ultronia; Ultronia Underwing, wingspan: 50-63mm.

The forewings are typically gray-brown, with a distinct and very dark inner margin and a characteristic light brown patch, underscored by a very dark arc, near the wingtip. There can be considerable variation from one specimen to the next. Underwings can be yellow to orange to salmon.

Catocala ultronia, the Ultronia Underwing, wingspan: 50-63mm.

There is extensive orange-salmon colouration on the ventral surface of the hindwings and there is a dark discal lunule.

The ventral surface of the forewings also has a generous suffusion of orange-salmon scales in the lower half of the median area.
Joe Garris photo.

Catocala ultronia, Hannibal, Oswego County, August 15, 1997, Randy Lyttle.

#8778 TONHS/WO?? Catocala habilis; 55-65mm. Note large "M" on thorax & "pork chop" shaped, light coloured subreniform spot becoming very dark in constriction at juncture with pm line. Pm line narrow, dark & distinct, outwardly lined with narrow suffusion of white scales, then broader band of brown scales, then broader suffusion of white scales up to regular dentation of st line. "Bleeding" of yellow-orange to salmon scales into hw fringes. Large reniform spot has brown center, faintly edged with black, white, black again.

#8817 TONHS/WO?? briseis; Briseis Underwing; 60-70mm. Fws predominantly mottled dark-grey-brown with some lighter areas 1) between pm & st lines, 2) at base of am & pm lines along im, & 3) over subreniform spot running diagonally toward costa. Pm lines without greatly elongated & sharly pointed "teeth" near apex. Hw fringe white & unbroken & inner black band (fairly even) reaches inner margin. Tim Dyson image.

#8795 TONHS/RL Catocala palaeogama ; 60-70mm.> Subreniform spot closed, does not approach pm line, smaller than in C. habilis. All forms have characteristic orange, heavily barred fringe to apex, & irregular bands on hws. Hw basal median area heavily suffused with dark brown to black scales. Dark bar in outer half of median area, paralleling inner margin halfway between inner margin & light, closed subreniform spot.

#8795 TONHS/RL Catocala palaeogama form phalanga; 60-70mm. In this form, the forewing basal area and subterminal area are very dark against a much lighter background.
The dark bar in the outer half of the median area, paralleling the inner margin halfway between the inner margin and the light, closed subreniform spot is especially evident. Joe Garris image.

Catocala palaeogama, Hannibal, Oswego County, July 28, 1998, Randy Lyttle.

** 8770 TONHS/WO?? Catocala innubens; Betrothed; 55-72mm. Fw mottled with white, grey & brown, subrenifrom spot tends to be lighter in colour, although sometimes obscured by indistinct blackish bar running from middle of basal/thorax connection to just below much lighter apex at outer margin.

Jim Vargo image. probably rare if present

** 8851 TONHS/WO?? Catocala coccinata; Scarlet; 57-70mm. Usually diffuse basal & anal dashes on otherwise light grey, mottled forewing. Hw fringe white (often with some salmon scaling); heavily checked. "Tooth" just below pair of elongated "teeth" much reduced, quite rounded, usually allowing room for lighter patch of scales. Dark bar across thorax. Reniform spot light, often with greenish cast. probably rare if present

Solid Black Underwings: Smallest to Largest, Similar Species Paired

Most, if not all, of the black underwings range further south where there are more hickory species.

** 8781 TONHS/WO?? judith, Judith's Underwing; 45-55mm. One of smaller "black" underwings. Fw uniform light grey with thin and only slightly darkened antemedial, median and postmedial lines. No darkened dashes (slight anal dash) or transverse lines. Reniform area slightly darkened while area just before subterminal line is a bit lighter. Note absence of hw white fringe. probably rare if present

** 8773 TONHS/WO?? Catocala epione ; Epione Underwing, wingspan: 55-65mm

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.

probably rare if present.

** 8785 TONHS/WO?? Catocala residua, Residua Underwing; 60-73mm. Distinguished from C. obscura by grey hw fringe of residua. Catocala obscura has white to off-white fringe, less common in northern portions of its range. The forewing subterminal line/area of Catocala residua tends to be pale as is its open, elongated subreniform spot. Like C. obscura it is otherwise devoid of significant markings except for hint of dark bar running from basal area through reniform spot to outer margin just below apex. probably rare if present.

TONHS/WO?? Catocala retecta; 60-75mm. Note the light coloured, elongated & open subreniform spot interrupting dark, diffuse ark running through center of wing from basal area (body-wing juncture) to forewing apex. Center of reniform spot is brown, brown area just below costa running to inner margin just outside pm line. The off-white hindwing fringe is only lightly checked along wing veins.

** 8784 TONHS/WO?? obscura; the Obscure Underwing; 60-72mm. Dull, grey fws, usually void of any significant dashes or streaks, providing for easy identification. Antemedial, median & postmedial lines of obscura are faint and subterminal line region is only slightly paler than rest of fw. The hindwing fringe is off-white and lightly checked on the veins. probably rare if present.

** 8791 TONHS/WO?? Catocala insolabilis; Inconsolable; 65-75mm. Fw light grey with blackish shading along inner margin. Antemedial &postmedial lines are thin. Hw fringe very narrow and grey, becoming whiter toward apex. Ventral surface clearly distinguishes insolabis, being almost completely black except for some white in the basal area.
probably rare if present.

Large Black Underwings (Banded): Wingspans: 70-80mm

** 8803 TONHS/RL Catocala relicta; Forsaken, White, Relict; 70-80mm. Considerable variation with regard to black/white concentrations on fws. Form clara (depicted), has basal and subterminal areas predominantly white; form phrynia: evenly dusted with grey over entire fw. Typical specimens have the basal and subterminal areas filled with blackish scales. Black hindwings, with a brilliant even white inner band and white fringe, are also distinctive. Tim Dyson image.

Catocala relicta, Hannibal, Oswego County, August 27, 1998, Randy Lyttle.

** 8802 TONHS/RL Catocala cerogama; Yellow-Banded; 70-80mm. Several different forms. The pm line is distinct, dark and has an elongate pair of projections. The pm and am lines meet inner margin in relative proximity. Closed subreniform spot it lighter than surrounding areas, and is shaped a bit like an arrowhead with point toward body. Hws are distinctive. Jean-Benoît Duval image.

Catocala cerogama, Hannibal, Oswego County, July 19, 28, 1998, Randy Lyttle.

Large Orange-Salmon Underwings: Wingspans: 65mm, usually 70-95mm

** 8801 TONHS/RL Catocala ilia; Ilia; 65-82mm. Specimens come in several different forms, most of them have characteristic white area in and around reniform spot. Diffuse dark arc running from this spot to just below outer apex. Except in worn specimens and darkest forms, white dots near outer margin of fw are in character with the overall "contrasting" appearance of this moth. Joe Garris image.

Catocala piatrix, Hannibal, Oswego County, September 11, 1996, Randy Lyttle.

** 8771 TONHS/RL Catocala piatrix ; Penitent, wingspan: 68-84mm

The forewing has a light-colored band/bar extending from the subreniform spot along the am line to the costa.

The fringe of the hindwing is lightly barred and is lighter in color than the deeper orange on the rest of wing.

Catocala piatrix, Hannibal, Oswego County, September 6, 1998, Randy Lyttle.

** 8806 TONHS/RL Catocala parta; Mother Underwing; 70-85mm. The black dashes in the basal, subapical and anal areas help to identify this species. The hindwings may be yellow to yellowish-orange but more often are salmon-red. Note the face-head-like markings on the thorax. In the hindwing, the first (nearest the apex) black protrusion into the white fringe is "noticeably" larger than the others.

Catocala parta, Hannibal, Oswego County, July 28, 1998, Randy Lyttle.

** 8798 TONHS/RL Catocala neogama; 70-85mm. Note brown head, thorax & larger size as compared to palaeogama. Neogama slightly smaller than subnata, have darker grey brown fws with more pronounced markings. Hind tibia examination sometimes needed for id. Neogama': flattened & unevenly & sparsely spined; subnata: cylindrical with spines dense & uniform in distribution. Joe Garris photo.

Catocala neogama, Hannibal, Oswego County, July 29, 1998, Randy Lyttle.

Catocala unijuga 28-Jul-1998

** 8797 TONHS/RL Catocala subnata; Youthful Underwing;: 75-90mm. Fws greyish white, blue-grey & light brown scales. subnata usually have hws brighter yellow than neogama. Neo. usually have basal dash; absent in male subnata, present in females. Hind tibia examination distinguishs species: sub: cylindrical hind tibia; neo: compressed, flattened hind tibia. sub: tibia ventral surface densely covered with evenly distributed spines; neo: tibia v. surface sparsely covered with sporadic spines.

Catocala subnata, Hannibal, Oswego County, July 29, 1998, Randy Lyttle.

** 8796 TONHS/WO?? Catocala nebulosa; Clouded; 75-86mm. Moths have prominent dark brown upper-half-basal patch that extends to and ends at antemedial line. Apical area also tends to be brown, much darker than median area but not as dark as basal patch. The anal angle also has the darker brown scaling. The pm line is distinct near costa and inner margin, but becomes weak between the two. It meets inner margin in relative close proximity to am line. Closed subreniform spot is large and connects to the pm line via a thin line. probably more southerly

** 8804 TONHS/WO?? Catocala marmorata; Marbled Underwing; 85-95mm; dark fw arc running from costa down through reniform spot to outer margin just below apex distinguishes this large species from all other "orange-pinkish-red" underwings. Subrenifrom spot light, bordered inwardly above by white patch, connected to pm line by a line rather than being open. endangered ??

Medium-Large Pink Underwings: Wingspans: 70-95mm

** 8833 TONHS/RL concumbens Sleepy Underwing or Pink Underwing; 60-75mm. This brown thoracic collar is quite evident in this image as is the interruption in the pm line by the open subreniform spot. The white hindwing fringe is only lightly checked on the wing veins. The vibrant pink bans are distinct in colour and also in their relatively smooth contour.

Catocala concumbens, Hannibal, Oswego County, September 11, 1998, Randy Lyttle.

** 8832 TONHS/RL Catocala cara; Darling; 70-85mm. Fw deep maroon almost purple cast, mixed with very pale green. Lower half of am & pm lines barely visible. No distinctive bars or dashes. Two upper "teeth" on the pm line are thin and long. The hindwing bands are pink. There is heavy black checking on the off-white hindwing fringe. The relatively thick black median band of the hindwing almost reaches the inner margin which is usually heavily adorned with dark hairs. Tim Dyson image.

Catocala cara, Hannibal, Oswego County, August 28, 1996, Randy Lyttle.

** 8834 TONHS/RL amatrix Sweetheart Underwing; 75-95mm.

Very skittish, frequently hides in caves, under bridges, under tree bark, etc. by day, resting with head down.
Hw patterning and colouration are similar to that of Catocala concumbens, but large size and dark bar running from the basal area to just below apex distinguishes Catocala amatrix.

Catocala amatrix, Hannibal, Oswego County, August 20, 2001, Randy Lyttle.