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"The only closely similar taxon to C. andromache is C. b. benjamini. The dorsal forewing of C. andromache is usually liberally speckled with greenish scales (in many freshly eclosed specimens the wings are a mottled moss green), whereas the dorsal forewing of C. b. benjamini is sparsely speckled with bluish scales. This distinction breaks down for worn specimens, and for many specimens from desert edge mountains in southern California. However, C. andromache is not sympatric with C. b. benjamini. Catocala andromache is sympatric with C. b. mayhewi along the desert slopes of the mountains of southern California, and there the two species are consistently separated by the larger size, darker forewings, darker yellowish bands, and wider black bands of C. andromache.
"The name wellsi was proposed for specimens with more blackish, unmottled forewings from the central Sierran foothills, but these characteristics break down in larger series and there seems little merit in retaining the name at subspecific rank." David Hawks
This moth flies mostly below 2000m.
Others have reported them in Arizona; Wayne H. Whaley reports them in Utah. However, David C. Hawks does not confirm populations outside of California. Specimens designated as C. andromache in Utah and Arizona are more likely a different, similar species. I am pretty sure the "andromache" depicted by Bruce Walsh from Arizona has been re-evaluated as C. caesia.
The moths previously identified as subspecies Catocala andromache wellsi, flying in central California, are now synonymized with the nominate species.
The Catocala andromache caterpillar shows a preference for oaks. They have been collected on Quercus chrysolepis Liebm. They also probably feed on Quercus cornelius-mulleri, Q. dumosa Nutt., and Q. wislizenii A. de Candolle, among others.
SCENTING AND MATING:
Catocala andromache females emit an airbourne pheromone and males use their antennae to track the scent plume.
Catocala andromache (male) Miracle Hot Springs, 2320' Kern County, CA, July 4 1989. Kelly Richers, collector, at uv light.
Canyon live oak
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Catocala andromache, courtesy of "California Pappy".
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