Updated as per "Systematics of moths in the genus Catocala (Lepidoptera, Erebidae) IV.
Nomenclatorial stabilization of the Nearctic fauna, with a revised synonymic check list";
ZooKeys 39: 37–83 (2010) by Lawrence F. Gall, David C. Hawks; March 21, 2010
Updated as per collecting data posted on Insectnet.com by Leroy Koehn; June 21, 2014

Kentucky Catocala

Catocala illecta Woodlawn, Montgomery County, Tennessee,
taken at light, June 20, 2008, courtesy of Tom Payne.

This page is inspired by and dedicated to Tom Payne of Montgomery County, Tennessee. Tom has sent many images and much data regarding the Catocala species he has encountered in his area.

Tom writes, "Last year I responded to one of Bill Garthe's posts on collecting Catocalas. Well, he actually got me hooked on these fabulous moths, and I had lots of fun collecting them, whether I was blacklighting, or sugaring. It seemed like I was always discovering a different species. It was truly exciting, because I never knew what I was going to find each time."

I, Bill Oehlke, also wish to acknowledge the checklist provided online for the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Tom's images, the data from the park, and general knowledge of Catocala habitat and range allow me to assemble this tentative pictoral checklist for Tennessee. There may be omissions and some erroneous inclusions, but I believe the checklist will be useful in helping people identify the Catocala species they are likely to encounter in Tennessee.

Please send electronic images with data to Bill Oehlke to help increase the accuracy of this page.

A thanks also goes to Bill Garthe who inspired Tom. Bill Garthe has sent images and data for Illinois, primarily for La Salle County.

I also am indebted to Larry Gall of Connecticut who has helped me immensely over the years with troublesome identifications.

Those species followed by WO? are species not yet confirmed for Tennessee, but I William (Bill) Oehlke expect they are present. Those species followed by GSMNP are confirmed for the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, and those species followed by TP are confirmed by Tom Payne.

In most cases, the links to the individual species will provide a series of images, with ranges, flight seasons and sometimes larval images.

Refer to Identification Keys image and terminology to better understand the descriptions.

Shortly after posting this page, Harry King sent me a copy of a paper written by Wayne A. Miller (WAM). I have indicated Wayne's data and have added Catocala cara carissima and Catocala serena to the list based on Wayne's report. Collection took place from June 20 - August 22, during the years 1975-76. Four collecting methods were utilized: bait; 175 watt Mercury Vapour light; incandescent light; tree beating.

Wayne indicates more species might have been collected earlier or later in the season. Some species seem to have specific flight times, and those species which do not fly until after 2:00 am in the morning may escape most collector's eyes.

Forty-six species have been confirmed by one or more of the references above. I have added many undocumented species to the pictoral list, based on general range statements. I have also added a provisional list, not pictured, at the bottom of the list.

Little Yellow-Orange Underwings: Wingspans: 30-45mm

**8878 Catocala alabamae; Alabama Underwing; 30-40mm; yes; Uniform greenish-grey forewing may have thin but dark (contrasting) medial lines or they may be nearly absent (titania); alabamae often displays dash in median/anal angle area, missing or nearly absent in titania. Brown shading between post medial line and subterminal line. Hindwing inner black band thin, outer band thick, truncated before being followed by large black dot. Early flight season.

**8878 Catocala amica; Girlfriend; wingspan: 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 now (2010) elevated to full species status as Catocala lineella.
Maurice Bottos image.

** 8878.1 lineella; Little Lined Underwing; wingspan: 35-40mm. This species is without hw marginal black band. Fw subreniform spot is pale and boldy outlined with black. There is similar light brownish-gray patch in upper half of median area near pm line, and just between subreniform spot and am line there is similarly coloured light patch paralleling am lne. The reniform spot is dark, less distinct and in a generally darker area.

** 8874 Catocala minuta TM; Little Underwing, 35-45mm; Fw grey-brown, greatly widened, white, st line (near costa only). Hw outer black band unbroken, inner band in complete loop, brown scaling along im. "eureka" Schwarz: blackish area between am,pm lines; "hiseri" Cassino: dull grey fw, very faint markings; "mellitula" Hulst: blackish patch in basal area from costa to im; "obliterata" Schwarz: melanic form, almost completely black fw; "parvula" W. H. Edwards: broad dark patch along fw i. m..

Catocala minuta, Georgetown, Scott County, June, Leroy Koehn

** 8873 similis; Similar Underwing, wingspan: 35-45mm. Pale triangular patch from pm line along costa, pointed at apex, light-coloured, tear-shaped reniform spot. Subreniform spot projects much beyond reniform anteriorally at right angle to subreniform line. Many specimens have small, light coloured, flattened oval spot about halfway between pm/ am lines near midpoint of reniform spot. Pm line almost straight for most of length.

** 8846 sordida; Sordid Underwing, wingspan: 37-45mm: Fw is lighter along costa and darker along inner margin. Dark medial lines are especially evident through lighter shades near costa. Outer black band of the hindwing is broken near the anal angle. I made the determination on the moth to the left based on dark scaling along the inner margin limited to median area and submarginal "teeth" relatively short and blunt. Tim Dyson image.

dulciola; Quiet/Sweet Underwing, wingspan: 40-45mm;

A double, black, almost smooth antemedial line (inner line broken only near the costa) with other lines obscure distinguishes dulciola. There is also a dark basal dash on an otherwise plain, light grey forewing.

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

** 8876 Catocala micronympha, the Little Nymph Underwing, (wingspan: 35-50mm). John Himmelman image. Usual specimens have grey forewings shaded with green, brown, black and white tints. Usually a darkened band passing from costa through reniform spot to outer margin. High variability. Full size Joe Garris photo of C. micronympha form hero.

** 8876 form gisela: The usual specimens have grey forewings shaded with green, brown, black and white tints. There is usually a darkened band passing from the costa through the reniform spot to the outer margin. Form "gisela" Meyer has a forewing that is mostly black. Leroy Simon image.

** 8876 form hero: The usual specimens have grey forewings shaded with green, brown, black and white tints. There is usually a darkened band passing from the costa through the reniform spot to the outer margin. Form "hero" H. Edwards has a median area that is mostly white.
Joe Garris image.

** 8876 form lolita: Form "lolita" Sargent has very dark forewings.

Harold J. Vermes image, used with permission from his son.

** 8876 form sargenti: Usual specimens have grey forewings shaded with green, brown, black and white tints. Usually a darkened band passing from costa through reniform spot to outer margin. Form "sargenti" Covell (very rare) has a hindwing that is all black.

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

messalina, Messalina Underwing, (40-45mm); WO?: The forewing is a plain, dull, grey-green, darkening toward the outer margin.

The hindwing is like that of the false underwing, having no inner black band. The outer band is quite wide.

C. messalina flies in evergreen oak habitats. questionable, generally more southerly species

** 8864 Catocala grynea ; Woody Underwing, (40-50mm); WO?: 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.

** 8865 praeclara; Praeclara Underwing, wingspan: 40-50mm. Fw pale greenish-grey with considerable contrasting brown shading beyond post medial line. There is a black basal dash very close to the inner margin and another dash, higher up in the median area. Note the contrasting shapes of the reniform and subreniform spots. Upper of two larger pml teeth is longer, wider than lower tooth. Note double, white filled amls. Lighter, subcircular patch, outlined in black, brown on lower thorax.

** 8867 Catocala blandula; Charming Underwing, (40-50mm); The pale basal area of the forewing distinguishes mira from blandula (dark brown) and crataegi (black). The forewing has dark contrasting lines as in crataegi. There is also considerable brown in the subterminal area and the subreniform spot is very conspicuous and usually brown. A light area runs obliquely from the costa to the subreniform spot. The hindwing is deep orange and has a complete inner black band. The outer black band is unbroken.

Lynn Scott image.

Catocala mira; Wonderful Underwing, wingspan: 40-50mm. Pale basal area of fw distinguishes mira from blandula (dark brown) and crataegi (black). Fw lacks dark contrasting lines of crataegi and blandula. Considerable brown in subterminal area and subreniform spot very conspicuous, usually brown. Light area runs obliquely from costa to subreniform spot. Noticeable space along i. m. between antemedial and postmedial lines. Hw deep orange and has a complete inner black band. The outer black band is unbroken Tim Dyson image.

** 8858 Catocala crataegi 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.

Catocala pretiosa Precious Underwing; 40-50mm; WO?; This species is quite similar to crataegi and mira, but pretiosa has considerable creamy white colouration in the median area. The lower portion of the basal area is also light, not dark as in crataegi. The inner black band of the hindwing forms a loop and the outer band is broken (not complete as in mira, followed by a dot that tapers to the anal angle.

** 8772 clintoni; Clinton's Underwing; 45-55mm; WO? The black basal dash distinguishes clintoni from illecta and abbreviatella, both of which lack the dash.

Vernon Brou image.

Catocala clintoni, Georgetown, Scott County, June, Leroy Koehn

** 8772 gracilis; Graceful Underwing, 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.

Catocala gracilis, Georgetown, Scott County, June, Leroy Koehn

** 8858 Catocala nuptialis TM; Married Underwing, wingspan: 40-50mm: The reniform spot is very dark, black or almost black on an otherwise faintly marked, almost uniformly grey forewing. The outer black margin of the hindwing is unbroken, but is indented near the anal angle.
Jim Vargo image.

** 8843 whitneyi; Whitney's Underwing; 43-50mm. Catocala whitneyi is similar to abbreviatella Grote, and nuptialis Walker, but generally flies later in the season where the species overlap. The two black wedges/triangles on the forewing, one over the reniform spot and the other just outside the antemedial line, distinguish whitneyi. Gerald Fauske image.

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

** 8857 Catocala ultronia; Ultronia Underwing; 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.

** 8857 Catocala ultronia form lucinda; Ultronia Underwing, wingspan: 50-63mm. In form lucinda most of the forewing is bright grey.

On all forms there is extensive orange-salmon colouration on hw ventral surface, and there is a dark discal lunule.

Catocala ultronia, form nigrescens, the Ultronia Underwing, wingspan: 50-63mm. In the melanic form nigrescens, the dorsal forewing is very dark. Even darker subapical arc, basal dash and dash near anal angle are still visible. Dark basal hairs on hindwing. Harold J. Vermes slide, used with permission from his son.

Catocala ultronia form celia.

In form celia there is a wide, light grey band separating a dark region along inner margin and a dark patch near the apex. The ventral surface of forewings of all forms has a generous suffusion of orange-salmon scales in the lower half of the median area.

** 8779 serena Serene Underwing. Head & collar & abdomen are brown while thorax is grey. Am & pm lines are thin, very dark, distinct on an otherwise drab, almost uniformly olive-grey fw. Black marginal band of lower wings is indented at center, relatively narrow, deep yellow median band parallels indentation. Basal hairs are brown.

#8778 Catocala habilis; 55-65mm; WO? Note large "M" on thorax and "pork chop" shaped, light-coloured subreniform spot becoming very dark in its constriction at juncture with postmedian line. Pm line is narrow, dark and distinct. It is outwardly lined with narrow suffusion of white scales, followed by broader band of brown scales, and then another broader suffusion of white scales up to very regular dentation of subterminal line. Significant "bleeding" of yellow-orange to salmon scales into hindwing fringes. Large reniform spot has brown center, faintly edged with black, then white, then black again. Joe Garris image.

#8795 Catocala palaeogama ; wingspan: 60-70mm. Subreniform spot closed, does not approach pm line, is smaller than in C. habilis. All forms have characteristic orange, heavily barred fringe to apex, and 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 i. m. halfway between i. m. and light, closed subreniform spot. Joe Garris photo.

#8795 Catocala palaeogama form phalanga; wingspan: 60-70mm. In this form, fw basal area and subterminal area are very dark against a much lighter background. 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.

** 8770 Catocala innubens; Betrothed; 55-72mm; The forewing is mottled with white, grey and brown, and the subrenifrom spot tends to be lighter in colour, although it is sometimes obscured by an indistinct blackish bar which runs from the middle of the basal/thorax connection to just below the much lighter apex at the outer margin.

** 8770 Catocala innubens form scintillans; Betrothed; 55-72mm. In form scintillans most of the basal area (all but lower third) and all of the median area of the forewing is dark reddish brown. The area outside the pm line is grey.

Vernon A Brou image.

Catocala delilah; 58-65; The forewing is gray-brown with prominent black antemedial and postmedial lines. The hindwing is yellow-orange, with a narrow inner black band which reaches the inner margin. There is a large yellow spot at the apex, and the fringe is faintly barred. The underside of the wings is deep yellow with black bands.

** 8851 Catocala coccinata; Scarlet; 57-70mm; There are usually diffuse basal and anal dashes on an otherwise light grey, mottled forewing. Hindwing fringe is white (often with some salmon scaling) and is heavily checked. "Tooth" just below pair of very elongated "teeth" is much reduced and is quite rounded, usually allowing considerable room for lighter patch of scales. Dark bar crosses thorax. Reniform spot tends be to light, often with greenish cast. Joe Garris image.

** 8840 Catocala illecta; Magdalen Underwing, 60-70mm; The forewing pattern and colouration is much like that of concumbens, pale grey with faint black lines.
Hindwings are light yellow and the irregular inner black band terminates well before the inner margin. James K. Adams image.

Catocala illecta, Georgetown, Scott County, June, Leroy Koehn

** 8772 Catocala consors WO; Consort, wingspan: 70mm plus. Fw with irregular am and pm narrow black lines. Dark patch outside the reniform and subreniform spots. The orange-yellow hindwing pm band tends to be narrow and irregularly zigzagged. Sometimes the band is wider and slightly less irregular. James K. Adams image.

Solid Black Underwings: Smallest to Largest, Similar Species Paired

miranda, Miranda Underwing; 37-45mm; Fw is a plain pale grey with very light and fine black lines, darker and wider near the costa. The hindwing is black with white fringe at the apex, turning to grey along the outer margin. Miranda is smaller than look-alike orba and miranda also has a dark bar just above the inner margin in the median area, projecting toward the anal angle.

orba, Orba Underwing; 40-45mm; The forewing is a uniform grey with light lines and poorly defined spots. The hindwing underside is completely black. The hindwing fringe is unbroken and slightly off white, somewhat grey. Note absence of any dark bar in the median-subterminal area, paralleling the inner margin, near anal angle.

andromedae, Gloomy Underwing; 40-50mm; Black hw and dark grey hw fringe, coupled with dark fw inner margin help to identify this species. Moths rest with heads pointing downwards. There is very dark "flying saucer" shape, adjoining subreniform spot to midpoint of am line. The "teeth" of the postmedian line are short and blunt, outwardly edged with white. The subterminal line is also outwardly edged with white.

** 8781 judith, Judith's Underwing; 45-55mm, One of the 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 the subterminal line is a bit lighter. Note absence of hw white fringe.

** 8782 Catocala flebilis ; Mournful, 54-65mm; There is a diffuse black band running from basal area to outer margin just below apex, interrupted by pale grey subreniform spot. Reniform spot is filled with brown and there is additional brown outside postmedial line. No anal dash as there is in angusi. Hindwings have white fringe. J. K. Adams image.

** 8773 Catocala epione ; Epione Underwing, 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.

John Himmelman image.

Catocala residua; Residua Underwing, (wingspan: 60-73mm), distinguished from Catocala obscura by grey hw fringe of residua. Catocala obscura has white to off-white fringe and tends to be less common in northern portions of its range. Fw 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 o. m. just below apex.

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

Catocala luctuosa; 70mm; Light grey (yellowish tint) fw clearly marked with basal dash continuing with another dash through am line, then another anal dash almost forming bar parallel to the im. Hw fringe white, only lightly barred at veins. Fw pml "teeth": elongated and dark, continuing a dark dar emanating from outer margin just below apex.

Catocala atocala, Underwing, (wingspan: approximately 70-75mm). Similar to agrippina, but reniform is more clearly defined in atocala. Closed subreniform of atocala may be open or closed in agrippina. Distinct basal dash of agrippina females is nearly absent in atocala females. Hw undersurface white areas on agrippina are beige on atocala. Hw bulge (discal spot) on atocala, is not present on agrippina.

Catocala dejecta, 56-73mm; Hodge #8790; Dejected Underwing: quite similar to Catocala retecta. Here the light coloured subreniform spot is also open, but it has a distinct "pork-chop" shape and separates a much darker median area below the subreniform spot from a very light area to the costa above the spot.
The lower quarter of the submarginal area is also much darker in C. dejecta than in C. retecta.

** 8784 obscura; the Obscure Underwing, (wingspan: 60-72mm), has dull, grey forewings, usually void of any significant dashes, streaks, providing for easy identification. Am, median and pm lines faint and subterminal line region is only slightly paler than rest of fw. Hw fringe is off-white, lightly checked on veins. Joe Garris photo.

ulalume; Ulalume Underwing; 62-75mm; FW: mottled light to dark grey with no strongly contrasting lines, dashes, bars. At the inner margin the am line ends with in very light coloured crescent. Subrenifrom spot: light coloured and "comma" shaped. Hw: black; fringe pure white with thin, sharp (pointed) checking.

Catocala sappho; Sappho Underwing; 60-75mm; Fws: off white with some grey-black-brown peppering and yellow-beige lines. Reniform spot is brown and the subreniform spot is almost pure white; the hindwings are black with a white fringe.

** 8794 Catocala lacrymosa; Tearful Underwing, 60-82mm. The forewing is highly variable with a mixture of black, brown (wing tips and outside postmedial line) and dark grey scaling. There are usually whitish crescents, along the inner margin at the base of the antemedial and postmedial lines.

The hindwings are black with white checkered fringe, turning black near the anal angle. There are several different forms.

** 8794 Catocala lacrymosa; Tearful Underwing, 60-82mm. Form paulina: lighter grey post median area & area along and parallel to inner margin, in sharp contrast to darker basal median areas.

** 8794 Catocala lacrymosa; Tearful Underwing, 60-82mm.

In form evelina there is a wide black band along the forewing inner margin.

** 8794 Catocala lacrymosa; Tearful Underwing, 60-82mm; In form albomarginata there is an abundance of white scaling on the forewing.

** 8794 Catocala lacrymosa; Tearful Underwing, 60-82mm;; Form "zelica", has black basal patch and strong black subterminal line.

** 8783 Catocala angusi WO; Angus' Underwing, 60-74mm; Dark dashes/streaks in basal area and anal area distinguish this species. Reniform spot tends to have a light brown filling. Hw fringe is black except for white region at apex. Form lucetta has broad black band from basal area to om, broken only by reniform and subreniform spots. James K. Adams image.

** 8783 Catocala angusi WO; Angus' Underwing, 60-74mm; Dark dashes/streaks in basal & anal areas. Reniform spot: light brown filling. Hw fringe black except for white region at apex. Form lucetta has broad black band from basal area to om, broken only by reniform & subreniform spots. James K. Adams image.

** 8791 Catocala insolabilis; Inconsolable, wingspan: 65-75mm; Fw: light grey with blackish shading along inner margin. Am and pm lines are thin. Hw fringe is very narrow and grey, becoming whiter toward the apex. The ventral surface clearly distinguishes insolabis, being almost completely black except for some white in the basal area.

** 8780 Catocala robinsoni; 70-80mm. Fws relatively plain pale grey. Female has basal dash, absent in male. Currata French, 1882, female form: weak basal dash. Rare form missouriensis Schwarz, 1915: dark, broad bar extending from basal area to o.m. just below apex. Lighter grey rnfm, subrnfm spots break bar in missouriensis, found from PA. to FL. Hw fringe: White; bands on ventral surface prominent.

** 8792 Catocala vidua; Widow; 70-80mm. Fw ground colour light grey. Distinguishing dark arc runs through top of reniform spot to just below apex. Heavy, dark anal and basal dashes, connecting to dark median bar, running parallel to i. m. Am line thick, black in its upper half. Reniform spot with two almost concentric irregular ovals. Subreniform spot light, open, constricted as it meets pm line. Hw black with broad, white fringe, lightly interrupted. Marie Winn image.

Catocala agrippina 75-85mm; In the male, the fws are grey-black with some reddish brown (distinguishing characteristic); am and pm lines are black, darker toward costa, much lighter near inner margin. Reniform is indistinct and brown; sub-reniform is almost obsolete, but lighter than surrounding areas. Hws are black, with greyish hairs at base and im. Fringe is white, only partly cut with black at terminations of veins.

** 8793 Catocala maestosa Sad Underwing, 78-98mm; Maesotsa is quite similar to, although usually larger than, vidua. Both have the dark arc from the costa, above the reniform spot, to the outer margin just below the apex. Maesotsa, however, lacks the dark bar, found on vidua, parallel to the inner margin. The reniform spot is brown and there is brown shading just outside the postmedial line. The hindwing fringe is white, narrow and heavily barred.

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

** 8803 Catocala relicta; Forsaken, White, Relict; 70-80mm; There is considerable variation with regard to black/white concentrations on the forewings. The form clara (depicted), has the basal and subterminal areas predominantly white; the form phrynia, is evenly dusted with grey over the entire forewing. Typical specimens have the basal and subterminal areas filled with blackish scales. The black hindwings, with a brilliant even white inner band and white fringe, are also distinctive.

** 8803 Catocala relicta ; Forsaken, White, Relict; 70-80mm: Considerable variation with regard to black/white concentrations on fws.
Typical specimens have basal and subterminal areas with blackish scales.

Black hws, with brilliant even white inner band and white fringe, are distinctive. June until October.

** 8803 Catocala relicta ; Forsaken, White, Relict; 70-80mm: Considerable variation with regard to black/white concentrations on fws. Form clara: basal and subterminal areas predominantly white.

Typical specimens have basal and subterminal areas with blackish scales. Black hws, with brilliant even white inner band and white fringe, are distinctive. June until October.

** 8803 Catocala relicta ; Forsaken, White, Relict; 70-80mm: Considerable variation with regard to black/white concentrations on fws. Form phrynia: evenly dusted with grey over entire forewing. Typical specimens have basal and subterminal areas with blackish scales. Black hws, with brilliant even white inner band and white fringe, are distinctive. June until October, poplars and willows

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

** 8802 Catocala cerogama; Yellow-Banded; 70-80mm.

Form ruperti: Forewings are almost uniform grey-brown with white scales outlining subterminal line.

The hindwings are distinctive. Tim Dyson image.

** 8802 Catocala cerogama; Yellow-Banded; 70-80mm.

Form bunkeri: Forewings are dark in median and basal areas. Hw golden band is reduced in thickness. Basal hairs are brown instead of yellow.

The hindwings are distinctive. Tim Dyson image.

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

** 8801 Catocala ilia; Ilia; 65-82mm; GSMNP/TP/WAM; Catocala ilia specimens come in several different forms. Most have characteristic white area in and around reniform spot. There is also a diffuse dark arc running from this spot to just below apex.
Except in worn specimens and darkest forms, the white dots near the outer margin of forewing are in character with the overall "contrasting" appearance of this moth.
Joe Garris image.

** 8801 Catocala ilia; Ilia; form conspicua

In this form the entire reniform spot is heavily suffused with white scaling on an otherwise darker ground colour. Hence the form name "conspicua".

Tim Dyson image.

** 8801 Catocala ilia; Ilia; form satanas

In this melanic form the entire forewing, including the reniform spot is very dark. Hence the form name "satanas".

The dark basal streak is still evident on this form.

Tim Dyson image.

** 8801 Catocala ilia; Ilia; form normani

In this semi-melanic form the entire forewing, excluding the reniform spot, is relatively dark. The brownish, kidney-shaped center of the reniform spot is outlined in white.

The basal streak and subapical arc are still visible.

Tim Dyson image.

Catocala consors; Consort Underwing; 70+mm; Fw:s irregular am and pm narrow black lines. Orange-yellow pm band tends to be narrow, irregularly zigzagged. Sometimes band is wider and slightly less irregular. Catocala consors is same as C. pensacola Reiff, 1919. There is a subspecies sorsconi Barnes and Benjamin, 1924.

Catocala muliercula; Little Wife Underwing; ???; Dark, distinct upper half am line runs obliquely toward anal angle, turns in two lobes to im; basal area dark brown; inner brown kidney shaped reniform spot, oulined in black then light then black again; open, lighter subreniform spot with light area from it to costa; median area greyish-blue-brown; subterminal area brown; terminal area greyish-blue-brown; lighter patch at apex.

Hindwing dark bands thick, much dark scaling in basal area covering two thirds of that region, joining inner black band to inner margin.

** 8771 Catocala piatrix ; Penitent, wingspan: 68-84mm. Fw: light-colored band/bar extending from light coloured, triangular subreniform spot along am line to costa. Brown, kidney-shaped reniform spot surrounded in pale grey, outlined in black, usually with distinct black along wing veins in a dark area outside the reniform spot. Hw: fringe lightly barred; lighter in color than deeper orange on rest of wing.

Catocala junctura; Joined Underwing; 67-85mm. Fw is usually dark brownish-gray to evenly powdered blue-grey w/o significant markings. Doubled reniform spot often obscure. Thin, slightly darker am and pm lines run from costa to im, not widely spaced at im. Hw salmon/ orange-pink, narrow inner black band turns in sharply, does not meet dark-haired im.

** 8806 Catocala parta; Mother Underwing, wingspan: 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.

** 8805 unijuga; Once-married; wingspan: 70-90mm: Catocala unijuga has a fairly wide black inner band (almost reaching inner margin) in hindwing and very distinctive patterning in forewing. Meskei tend to have narrower band and dustier (less distinct) looking forewing. Semirelicta tend to have inner bands that terminate well before inner margins. Also note the very white fringe on both the forewings and hindwings.

** 8798 Catocala neogama; wingspan 70-85mm. Brown head, thorax, larger size as compared to C. palaeogama. Neogama tend to be slightly smaller than subnata, have darker grey brown fws with more pronounced markings. Examination of hind tibia needed for id. Neogama's: flattened, unevenly, sparsely spined; subnata's: cylindrical, spines dense, uniform in distribution. Joe Garris photo.

** 8797 Catocala subnata; Youthful Underwing: 75-90mm. Fws greyish white with blue-grey and light brown scales, usually with hws brighter yellow than those of neogama. Neogama usually have basal dash; absent in male subnata, but present in females. Magnification of hind tibia needed for id: subnata: cylindrical hind tibia; neogama: compressed or flattened hind tibia. subnata: ventral surface of tibia densely covered with evenly distributed spines; neogama: ventral surface of tibia sparsely covered.

Catocala nebulosa; 75-86mm; 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. Anal angle also has darker brown scaling. Pm line 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.

** 8804 C. marmorata; Marbled; wingspan 85-95mm
Dark fw arc runs from costa down through reniform spot to outer margin just below apex. The subrenifrom spot is light, is bordered inwardly above by a white patch, and is connected to the pm line by a line rather than being open.

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

** 8832 Catocala cara; Darling; 70-85mm; Deep maroon almost purple cast to forewings, mixed with very pale green. Lower half of am and pm lines barely visible. No distinctive bars or dashes. Two upper "teeth" on pm line are thin and long. Hw bands pink. Heavy black checking on off-white hindwing fringe. Relatively thick black median band of hindwing almost reaches inner margin which is usually heavily adorned with dark hairs.

** Catocala carissima; 70-85mm; Distinct light grey brown area at the forewing apex, preceded just inside the postmedial line by a similar but slightly darker patch. The antemedial and post medial lines are sharp and dark. The inner black band of the hindwing is wide and complete and merges with extensive grey-black scaling along the inner margin. The hindwing fringe is cream coloured.

** 8834 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/colouration similar to C concumbens and C. cara, but large size (wingspan 75-95mm) and dark bar (not always present) running from basal area to just below apex distinguishes Catocala amatrix. Hw median band does not reach im which is devoid of black scaling, found in C. cara.

** 8834 amatrix form selecta Sweetheart Underwing; (wingspan 75-95mm)
Very skittish and frequently hides in caves, under bridges, under tree bark, etc. by day, resting with head down. Several forms, including selecta (to the left) which lacks dark bar on forewing. Hesseli: melanic form; pallida: very pale form.

** 8834 amatrix form hesseli Sweetheart Underwing; (wingspan 75-95mm)
Very skittish and frequently hides in caves, under bridges, under tree bark, etc. by day, resting with head down. The melanic form hesseli is very dark and displays dark basal hairs in the hindwing.

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Additions expected (unconfirmed) by Bill Oehlke, and not yet added to thumbnail checklist: probably indicates likely; maybe indicates slight possiblity, probably not.

abbreviatella maybe
amestris probably
delilah probably
herodias maybe
jair maybe
lincolnana maybe
louisiae probably
nuptialis maybe
umbrosa yes


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Visit "Systematics of moths in the genus Catocala (Lepidoptera, Erebidae) IV.
Nomenclatorial stabilization of the Nearctic fauna, with a revised synonymic check list";
ZooKeys 39: 37–83 (2010) by Lawrence F. Gall, David C. Hawks

Tennessee Catocala Report