Schrank, 1802, is credited as the namer/describer of the group of moths called Catocala. In Greek "Kato" means below or behind and "Kalos" means beautiful. Hence, we have a group of moths with beautiful hind or lower wings.
Concerning the pronunciation of Catocala, Larry Gall writes,
"Many moons ago, I asked some Classics colleagues of mine what the
most likely pronunciation of Catocala was, and that's the TOCK
version. Of course, we're talking here about folks steeped in Ancient
Greek! The majority of the lepidopterists I know use the TOCK version
(but there are exceptions, including [notably] Ron Hodges).
"This is sort of an academic question, but let's fuss on it
nevertheless (by the way, I make no claims to be a classicist). The
first assumption is the root derivation, which Ted Sargent (1976, p.
161) says is the greek kato + kalos, citing the Webster's
International Dictionary. I have no reason to doubt Ted's derivation
of the roots. In double checking my Webster's and O.E.D.,
Catocala is not listed in either, but the O.E.D. pronunciation
of words beginning with cato is generally the TOCK version (ignoring
ones claiming Latin derivation from Cato).
"From here, take it to some suitably authoritative sources for
Greek-Latin grammar and pronunciation. The Woodhouse tome is online,
and you can look up "beautiful" and "below" to see the spelling of
the corresponding words as they are on the dictionary pages -
"I've attached CATOCALA.JPG here which shows the relevant segments
from pages 73 and 78 of that dictionary.
"Many moons ago, I asked some Classics colleagues of mine what the most likely pronunciation of Catocala was, and that's the TOCK version. Of course, we're talking here about folks steeped in Ancient Greek! The majority of the lepidopterists I know use the TOCK version (but there are exceptions, including [notably] Ron Hodges).
"This is sort of an academic question, but let's fuss on it nevertheless (by the way, I make no claims to be a classicist). The first assumption is the root derivation, which Ted Sargent (1976, p. 161) says is the greek kato + kalos, citing the Webster's International Dictionary. I have no reason to doubt Ted's derivation of the roots. In double checking my Webster's and O.E.D., Catocala is not listed in either, but the O.E.D. pronunciation of words beginning with cato is generally the TOCK version (ignoring ones claiming Latin derivation from Cato).
"From here, take it to some suitably authoritative sources for Greek-Latin grammar and pronunciation. The Woodhouse tome is online, and you can look up "beautiful" and "below" to see the spelling of the corresponding words as they are on the dictionary pages - http://www.lib.uchicago.edu/efts/Woodhouse
"I've attached CATOCALA.JPG here which shows the relevant segments from pages 73 and 78 of that dictionary.
"The Berkeley pronunciation of the omicron would make Catocala TOCK... then again, we all know that Catocala ROCK!
"Feel free to quote this lighthearted digression.
Hence: kah-TOCK-uh-lah for me! The Catocala belong to a family of moths called Noctuidae.
The Noctuidae or owlet moths (eyes that "glow", i.e. reflect light in the dark) comprise the largest lepidoptera family with approximately three thousand species in North America and twenty thousand plus species worldwide.
Most of the Noctuidae rest with wings folded tent-like over their backs. The forewings are typically grey or brown with interesting patterns of lines, dashes, bars and spots.
Orbicular (not present in Catocala) and reniform and subreniform spots are usually visible; the bodies are usually stout and hairy. A well-developed proboscis (feeding tube) is usually present.
Most lepidoptera have had their scientific names given to them by their describers from Greek or Latin words, sometimes with special, significant meaning associated with behaviour and/or colouration/patterning of the moth, sometimes without.
The common names associated with the North American Catocala usually come from the scientific names given them by the following entomologists. Those with a "*" after their names have biographical entries accessed by clicking on their names.
Dru Drury, 1725-1804, *
Johann C. Fabricius, 1745-1808, *
Pieter Cramer, 1721-1777, *
James Edward Smith (1759-1828), *
Jacob Hübner (1761-1826), *
John Obadiah Westwood (1805-1893), *
Francis Walker (1809-1874), *
Achille Guenee (1809-1880)
William Henry Edwards (1822-1909), *
Augustus Radcliffe Grote (1841-1903)
Hans Hermann Behr 1818-1904
Ferdinand Heinrich Herman Strecker (1836 to 1901)
Dodge, Dodge, E. A. or
Dodge, G. M. 1900a
J. A. Lintner
J.S. Bailey 1877
G. R. Pilate, 1882.
Henry Edwards 1827-1891
George D. Hulst
French, G. H. 1880
A. G. Butler
R. H. Stretch????
O. F. & J. S. Hiser
Robinson, H. S. & P. J. M. Robinson. 1950
Samuel Edson Cassino (1856-1937)
Foster H. Benjamin
James H. McDunnough (1877–1962)
John G. Franclemont
A. E. Brower
Vernon A. Brou *
What follows is a chronological listing (by year, not necessarily by month) which reveals some clear trends in the names assigned to these beautiful moths. Describers' names, followed by a *, indicate biographical information is available. Just click on the underlined name.
The species names appear in red, the describers are in green with possible pertinent information in blue, followed by the common name in orange.
Although this site deals with North American species, it is useful to look at trend-setting and trend-maintaining names/descriptions given to species outside of North America.
Species of significance, indigenous to Europe/Asia, will be treated with purple text.
Carl Linnaeus * (1707-1778): Linnaeus is
credited for naming four Catocala
species, all from outside North America,
and he seems to have had a profound influence on the naming of early
species, using a marriage theme:
Catocala fraxini(Linnaeus, 1758) probably named when found in proximity of Fraxinus excelsior, one of the larval hosts Europe, Asia
Catocala pacta (Linnaeus, 1758) "pacta" means agreement, perhaps as in a marriage pact northern Europe
Catocala sponsa (Linnaeus, 1767) "sponsa" means wife most of Europe
Catocala nupta (Linnaeus, 1767) "nupta" refers to marriage most of Europe
Giovanni Antonio Scopoli * (1723-1788) : Scopoli describes one European species, fulminea "fulminea" refers to lightning, probably chosen for striking yellow bands on underwings. Note: This name was given before Linnaeus had established the trend with nupta and sponsa
Catocala fulminea (Scopoli, 1763) Europe
Dru Drury, 1725-1804, * : Drury only named one North Americana Catocala species, and there was nothing unusual or trend setting in his choice, although he did chose the name of a famous wife.
epione Drury, 1773:
In typical fashion, Drury chose a Greek name for the first
North American species with a published description.
"Epione was the wife of the famous healer Aesclepius (who was killed for bringing people back to life). She was a healer too, but no one ever remembers that. She was the mother of Hygeia, Goddess of Healing, as well as Acecis, Aegle, Iaso, Janiscus, Machaon, Panacea and Podalirius." Epione Underwing black underwings
Johann C. Fabricius, 1745-1808, * : Fabricius only described one North American Catocala species, and that had previously been described by Drury as epione.
marginata Fabricius, 1775 described the previously classified epione, and possibly chose marginata due to brilliant white fringe along the hindwing outer margin.
([Denis et Schiffermüller], 1775): These gentlemen described two species outside of North America, and they maintain the trend initiated by Linnaeus.
Catocala promissa ([Denis et Schiffermüller], 1775) promise, perhaps as in a marriage vow most of Europe
Catocala hymenea ([Denis et Schiffermüller], 1775) Hymen was the god of marriage and (was) invoked during the wedding ceremony Vienna Region
Pieter Cramer, 1721-1777: * Cramer continued with tradition of using feminine names or words in describing ilia.
ilia Cramer, 1780 In Greek Tragedy, Ilia is a daughter of King Priam. Ilia Underwing
grynea Cramer, 1780: Grynea is a name derived from the Greek argemone, and given probably due to dull greenish grey forewings of moths of this species.
How the common name, Woody Underwing, derived from this is unknown.
or....The name Argemone comes from the Greek argema, meaning
"a cataract in the eye",
or....Argemone", the Greek word for plants which were healing to the eyes,
or.... Argemone: from Greek argemos, "a white spot (cataract) on the eye."
Possibly Cramer chose grynea from Argemone based on light, greyish-white (cataract like) coloration of reniform and or subreniform spots on the forewing.
Five years earlier he had assigned polyphemus as the species name to the great North American Saturniidae moth, Antheraea polyphemus.
Eugenius Johann Christoph Esper: Esper described at least six European species and in the cases of conjuncta, nymphagoga, nymphaea and neonympha seems to continue the trend.
Catocala conversa (E. Esper, 1783) from Hungary
Catocala elocata (E. Esper, 1787) Europe
Catocala conjuncta (E. Esper, 1787) southern Europe
Catocala nymphagoga (E. Esper, 1788) from Turkey
Catocala nymphaea (E. Esper, 1788) Europe
Catocala neonympha (E. Esper, 1805) most of Europe
Viewig: Viewig describes one European species and seems to be following the "marriage" trend.
Catocala electa (Vieweg, 1790) elected or chosen
Giorna: Giorna describes one species and seems to be following the "marriage" trend.
Catocala puerpera (Giorna, 1791) Greek: "puer" means child
James Edward Smith (1759-1828) *:
In 1797, J. E. Smith, first president of the Linnean Society of
described three North American species: vidua, consors and
He also chose
Greek/Latin words, and probably honours Linnaeus by
continuing his trend, chosing three names having to do with
"love, marriage and death" and thereby firmly establishing the
interesting trend for North American species, started by Linnaeus for
European species. This trend continues for approximately the next
one hundred years.
Perhaps Smith took them all off the same page of
some church records:
Perhaps Smith took them all off the same page of some church records:
vidua (J.E. Smith, 1797) means widow; black underwings The Widow
consors (J.E. Smith, 1797) refers to a consort; also means consolation The Consort Underwing
neogama (J.E. Smith, 1797) means newlywed or bride. The Bride
Jacob Hübner (1761-1826) *: Hubner continued this "romantic" trend, describing and naming four North American species:
amatrix (Hubner, 1809-13) literal translation Sweetheart underwing,
amica (Hubner, 1818) literal translation Girlfriend underwing,
(Hubner, 1823) Sweetfern underwing or Wayward Nymph
deriving its common name from the larval foodplant or possibly from the
rousting of adult moths during a walk in the woods amongst some sweetfern.
In Greek Tragedy, Nympha was a virgin from Palermo who was put to death for the Faith at the beginning of the fourth century; "anti" means against.
Nympha is also a Grecian woman church leader in the Bible.
ultronia (Hubner, 1823) Ultronia Underwing name of a Greek island.
Hübner describes at least one European species, dilecta "dilecta" means single out, value, esteem, prize, love
Godart Godart supports Linnaeus' trend with the European species, optata
optata (Godart, 1824) "optata" means chosen, selcted, preferred, desired
John Obadiah Westwood (1805-1893) *: Westwood only described one specimen and that species had previously been described by Hubner. Westwood chose "affinis", having to do with affinity.
affinis Westwood, 1837 for previously named antinympha
Francis Walker (1809-1874) *: Walker described one species prior to the work of Guenee and many species afterwards. He also follows the tradition started by Linnaeus and followed by Smith, Hubner and Westwood for N. A. species.
relicta Walker,  the Relict Underwing or White Underwing possibly comes from the Latin "relictus", which means forsaken, lost or abandoned black underwings
Achille Guenee (1809-1880): In 1852 Guenee used Latin words of love/marriage and heartbreak, as well as two famous women of myth, to name the following Catocala:
innubens Guenee, 1852 Betrothed Underwing; from Latin innubus, innuba, innubum ADJ unmarried
connubialis Guenee, 1852 Connubial Underwing; Connubial comes from Latin conubialis, from conubium, "marriage, intermarriage," from con-, "with, together" + nubere, "to veil, to marry."
insolabilis Guenee, 1852 Inconsolable Underwing; consolo, consolare, consolavi, consolatus V TRANS lesser console, cheer, comfort black underwings
lacrymosa Guenee, 1852 literal translation Tearful Underwing; black underwings
parta Guenee, 1852 literal translation: bear; give birth to; beget, bring forth Mother Underwing;
palaeogama Guenee, 1852 literal translation: from Greek palai=pale or old, gama=married Oldwife underwing;
andromedae Guenee, 1852 Andromeda underwing; If I am not fair, Cepheian Andromeda was pleasing to Perseus, dark in the color of her native land. black underwings.
messalina Guenee, 1852 Messalina underwing; Valeria Messalina was the third wife of the emperor Claudius. In Claudius' absence she married Caius Silius and attempted to place him on the throne. She was killed when the plot failed.
cara Guenee, 1852 literal, Cara- Dear one Darling underwing;
muliercula Guenee, 1852 The Little Wife Underwing; "I know that he (Erasmus) sometimes used "muliercula" rather than "mulier" when alluding to what he saw as a kind of mental or emotional weakness in women."
micronympha Guenee, 1852 literal translation Little Nymph Underwing;
cerogama Guenee, 1852 I could find no meaning for "cero" = wax that makes any kind of sense regarding a literal translation. Just a long shot, perhaps Guenee wanted to combine ceremony and marriage. The yellow band might have suggested a ring. Yellow-banded Underwing.
Guenee also described and gave names to the following specimens which had all been previously described:
desperata Guenee, 1852, desperatio -onis f. [hopelessness , despair] for vidua
melanympha Guenee, 1852, melancholy or unhappy nymph for antinympha
uxor Guenee, 1852, to marry a wife for ilia
androphila Guenee, 1852, for amica
polygama Guenee, 1852, many times married for grynea
I must include this European species: adultera Ménétriés, 1856 Scandinavia
Francis Walker (1809-1874) *: Walker resumed some descriptions and chose words very closely associated with marriage:
concumbens Walker,  concumbo, concumbere, concumbui, concumbitus V INTRANS lie with/together (w/DAT); (for sexual intercourse); Sleepy Underwing, Pink Underwing
electilis Walker,  electus, electa, electum ADJ chosen, select, picked; choice Chosen Underwing
illecta Walker,  illecto, illectare, illectavi, illectatus V TRANS very rare entice, attract, allure Magdalen Underwing from name given somewhat later by Strecker
"selecta" Walker, , chosen or selected form of amatrix
nurus Walker, , literal translation: a daughter-in-law; any young married woman for previously described amatrix
nuptula Walker, , having to do with marriage for previously classified grynea
unijuga Walker,  literal translation Once-married underwing
junctura Walker,  jungo, jungere, junxi, junctus V join, unite; bring together, clasp (hands); Joined Underwing
nuptialis Walker,  nuptialis, nuptialis, nuptiale ADJ of a wedding or marriage, nuptial Married Underwing
William Henry Edwards (1822-1909) *: Edwards broke with the established "love/marriage" theme and chose slightly more descriptive terms and also named one species after Walsh.
similis Edwards, 1864 Similar underwing
serena Edwards, 1864 Greek = Selene. Selene is the goddess of the moon. Serene underwing
subnata Edwards, 1864 Youthful underwing
nebulosa Edwards, 1864 Clouded underwing
andromedae tristis Edwards, 1864 subspecies
minuta Edwards, 1864 small size, 35-45 mm Little underwing
briseis W.H. Edwards, 1864 In the battle for Troy, Agamemnon received Chryseis as a slave. When her father tried to buy her free, he was humiliated and taunted by Agamemnon. Apollo then sent a plague through the Greek camp, which would only stop when Chryseis was returned to her father. The displeased Agamemnon who then claimed Achilles' slave Briseis for his own love slave, which led to a fatal conflict between the two heroes. Briseis underwing
californica W.H. Edwards, 1864 ranges from California to British Columbia an underwing moth
gracilis Edwards, 1864 Graceful underwing
marmorata Edwards, 1864 Marbled underwing
tristis Edwards, 1864 as a subspecies of andromedae
"parvula" Edwards, 1864 form of minuta
walshii Edwards, 1864 to honour Walsh, for previously described junctura
Augustus Radcliffe Grote (1841-1903) continued somewhat the tradition but also moved toward more descriptive words and also used some masculine endings as he named several species and forms after men: clintoni, frederici, robinsoni, meskei, bunkeri, westcottii, and angusi etc..
piatrix Grote, 1864 piabilis -e [able to be atoned for]. The Penitent Underwing
clintoni Grote, 1864 named after Clinton Clinton's Underwing
"phalanga" (Grote, 1864) form of palaeogama
badia Grote and Robinson, 1866 Bay Underwing
"scintillans" Grote and Robinson, 1866 form of innubens
fratercula Grote and Robinson, 1866 as subspecies of micronympha
ponderosa Grote, 1866 for previously named nebulosa
ula Grote & Robinson, 1866 for previously named similis
praeclara Grote and Robinson, 1866 Praeclara Underwing praeclarus, praeclara, praeclarum ADJ very clear; splendid; famous; bright, illustrious; noble, distinguished
abbreviatella Abbreviated underwing
flebelis Grote, 1872 Latin: [lamentable, wretched, deserving tears]; act., [tearful, doleful]. Mournful Underwing black underwings
coccinata Grote, 1872 Latin: coccinatus -a -um [clad in scarlet]. Scarlet Underwing
frederici Grote, 1872 in honour of Frederic Frederic's underwing
habilis Grote, 1872 Habilis underwing
retecta Grote, 1872 an underwing moth
lineella Grote, 1872 as a subspecies of amica Little lined underwing
robinsoni Grote, 1872 in honour of Robinson Robinson's underwing
communis Grote, 1872 for previously named neogama
meskei Grote, 1873 in honour of Meske Meske's Underwing
coelebs Grote, 1874 Old maid underwing, or "widow"
residua Grote, 1874 Residua underwing
semirelicta Grote, 1874 probably due to forewing resemblance to relicta, semirelicta being half or part white Semirelect underwing
flavidalis Grote, 1874 for previously named innubens
levettei Grote, 1874 for previously named judith
anna Grote, 1874 for previously named amestris
simulatilis Grote, 1874 for previously named obscura
adoptiva Grote, 1874 for previously named delilah
verilliana Grote, 1875 an underwing moth
sordida Grote, 1877 Sordid underwing
alabamae Grote, 1875 Alabama underwing
angusi Grote, 1876 Angus' underwing,
mira Grote, 1876 Wonderful underwing
snowiana Grote, 1876 for previously named neogama
"bunkeri" Grote, 1876, form of cerogama
basalis Grote, 1876 for previously named habilis
"westcottii" Grote, 1878, form of amestris
beaniana Grote, 1878 for previously named meskei
sinuosa Grote, 1879 subspecies of coccinata
chelidonia Grote, 1881 an underwing moth
dulciola Grote, 1881 Quiet or Sweet Underwing
hilli Grote, 1883, ab. for previously named concumbens
guenei Grote, 1887 for previously named maestosa
moderna Grote, 1900 for previously named maestosa
Hans Hermann Behr 1818-1904:
irene Behr, 1870 Irene's underwing
ilia zoe Behr, 1870 subspecies of ilia
stretchi Behr, 1870 to honour Stretch Stretch's underwing
relicta elda Behr, 1887 subspecies of relicta
Ferdinand Heinrich Herman Strecker (1836 to 1901),
enjoyed the trend and stated that once all the amatory terms and
names relating to love and marriage had been exhausted, "the most
appropriate ones [names] for the purpose would be those of women
famous in history for their lusts or talents, or both combined...."
(1874, Lepid. Rhop. & Het., p.77)
"perplexa" Strecker, 1873, form of parta
obscura Strecker, 1873 Obscure Underwing Latin for "dark". black underwings
faustina Strecker, 1873 an underwing moth Faustina Minor 2nd century empress, the daughter of Antoninus Pius and married to Marcus Aurelius.
amestris Strecker, 1874 Three-staffed underwing, According to the Greek historian Herodotus, the queen of Xerxes was named Amestris,
hippolyta Strecker, 1874 an underwing moth In A Midsummer Night's Dream Hippolyta, Queen of the Amazons, is betrothed to Theseus
agrippina Strecker, 1874 Agrippina underwing Roman history: Agrippina the Younger. Wife of Claudius and mother of Nero
aholibah Strecker, 1874 Aholibah underwing in the Bible, one of the sisters in an allegory on Israel's idolatry.
aspasia Strecker, 1874 for electilis
sappho Strecker, 1874 Sappho was an ancient Greek poet who infused her works with intense emotions - especially love, desire, longing, and their companion, suffering. Sappho underwing
perdita Strecker, 1874 for previosuly named cleopatra
"atarah" Strecker, 1874 form of micronympha
delilah Strecker, 1874 In the Bible, Delilah deceives Samson and betrays him but cutting off his hair, robbing him of his strength. Delilah underwing
cleopatra Strecker, 1874 Cleopatra underwing Cleopatra is Queen of Egypt in Antony and Cleopatra.
judith Strecker, 1874 In the Bible "Nabuchodonosor, King of Nineveh, sends his general Holofernes to subdue the Jews. The latter besieges them in Bethulia, a city on the southern verge of the Plain of Esdrelon. Achior, the Ammonite, who speaks in defense of the Jews, is maltreated by him and sent into the besieged city to await his punishment when Holofernes shall have taken it. Famine undermines the courage of the besieged and they contemplate surrender, but Judith, a widow, upbraids them and says that she will deliver the city. She goes into the camp of the Assyrians and captivates Holofernes by her beauty, and finally takes advantage of the general's intoxication to cut off his head. She returns inviolate to the city with his head as a trophy, and a sally on the part of the Jews results in the rout of the Assyrians." Judith's underwing
luciana Strecker, 1874 Shakespearean character Luciana underwing
mariana Strecker, 1874 for previosuly named californica
magdalena Strecker, 1874 for previosuly named frederici
myrrha Strecker, 1874 for previosuly named nuptialis
"aholah" Strecker, 1874 form of similis
jocasta Strecker, 1875 "Jocasta was a famed queen of Thebes. Jocasta had a long line of close relatives. She was the wife of Lauis, mother and later wife of Oedipus, mother of Antigone, Eteocles, Polynices, and Ismene, and daughter of Menocenes. Unfortunately, Jocasta was carrying Lauis' baby who was destined to kill his father. Hearing this Lauis sent Oedipus up to the mountains. Oedipus somehow managed to survive and came back to where he was born. Eventually, he accidentally killed his father and married his mother (Jocasta). When Jocasta realized this, she hung herself; thus becoming one more victim of the curse that rested upon the family of the Labdacids. for previosuly named messalina
herodias Strecker, 1876 "When Agrippa, the brother of Herodias became king, she persuaded Antipas to go to Rome in search of the royal title, as his claim to it was far greater than that of her brother. Instead of a crown, however, he found awaiting him a charge of treason against the Romans, with Agrippa as chief accuser, who in advance had sent messengers to defeat the ambitious plans of Antipas. He was therefore banished to Lyons in Gaul. At the same time Herodias, spurning the kind offers of the emperor, preferred exile with Antipas to a life of splendour in the palace of her brother Agrippa. (Jos., Ant., XVIII, vii). This generosity, if we may so style it, came from her Hasmonean blood, but her cruelty she inherited from her grandfather Herod." Herodias underwing
"circe" Stkr., 1876, form of coccinata
ulalume Strecker, 1878 From "Ulalume", a poem by Edgar Allen Poe, setting: October and the burial vault of a lost love, Ulalume. black underwings
"zillah" Stkr., 1878, form of faustina
dejecta Strecker, 1880 Dejected underwing, black underwings
babayaga Strecker, 1884 "Baba Yaga is a recurring figure in Russian folklore. Probably derived from the Hag, the third member of the three-part goddess (Virgin, Mother, and Hag), Baba Yaga is not good, but is not entirely evil; she does eat people and decorate her fence with their skulls, but she is known to help people that serve her. She also orders the cycles of nature. She is often called Baba Yaga "the Bony-legged."
jair Strecker, 1897 Jair is a figure in Greek literature and in the Bible Jair underwing
whitneyi Dodge, 1874 to honor Whitney Whitney's Underwing
"nebraskae" Dodge, 1875, form of luciana
"somnus" Dodge, 1881, form of luciana
belfragiana Harvey, 1875 for previously named messalina
"subviridis" Harvey, 1877, form of agrippina
crataegi Saunders, 1876 hawthorn is larval host; moths probablys seen around hawthorn Hawthorn Underwing
pretiosa Lintner, 1876 Precious Underwing as a form of crataegi
grotiana Bailey, 1879 to honour Grote Grote's Underwing
"gisela" Meyer, 1880, Greek name meaning "good news" form of micronympha
"helene" Pilate, 1882 Greek name "Helen" which means "torch" or "light." form of micronympha fratercula
Henry Edwards, 1824-1891, an actor as well as an entomologist, chose names of female characters from William Shakespeare's plays to go with his descriptions of many species, subspecies and forms.
ophelia Henry Edwards, 1880 Ophelia In Hamlet the young Opehlia, daughter of Polonius, is coldly rejected by Hamlet who screams "get thee to a nunnery!"
hermia Henry Edwards, 1880 Hermia In A Midsummer Night's Dream the young Hermia, daughter of Egeus, is in love with Lysander.
francisca Henry Edwards, 1880 Francisca Francisca is a nun in Measure for Measure.
violenta Henry Edwards, 1880 Violenta Violenta is one of the dramatis personae of Shakespeare's All's Well that Ends Well who appears only once (iii. v) in the play and does not speak; sometimes referred to as a typical nonentity.
"volumnia" Hy. Edw., 1880, mother in Coriolanus form of irene
"virgilia" Hy. Edw., 1880, in Coriolanus form of irene
valeria Hy. Edw., 1880 gentlewoman in Coriolanus subspecies of irene
miranda Edwards, 1881 Miranda Miranda is Prospero's daughter in The Tempest
desdemona Henry Edwards, 1882 Desdemona In Othello Desdemona is the wife of Othello
andromache Henry Edwards, 1885
In Troilus and Cressida Andromache is the wife of Hector.
piatrix dionyza Henry
piatrix dionyza Henry Edwards, 1885Penitent Underwing Dionyza is wife to Cleon in Pericles
hippolyta Hy. Edw., 1875, Queen of the Amazons, bethrothed to Theseus in Midsummer Night's Dream preocc. by Strecker, 1874
mariana Hy. Edw., 1875, Mariana is a neighbour and friend to the widow in All's Well That Ends Well previously occupied by Strecker, 1874 for californica
augusta Hy. Edw., 1875 subspecies of arizonae
cassandra Hy. Edw., 1875 sister of Hector in Troilus and Cressida for previously named electilis
jessica Henry Edwards, 1877 Jessica Underwing In The Merchant of Venice Jessica must outwit her father regarding her choice of a husband.
calphurnia Hy. Edw., 1880 wife of Julius Caesar in Julius Caesar for previously named delilah
rosalinda, Hy. Edw., 1880 Rosalind in As You Like It for previously named meskei
diana Hy. Edw., 1880, Diana is the daughter of a widow of Florence in All's Well That Ends Well ab. for previously named concumbens
portia Hy. Edw., 1880 for previously named stretchi
sylvia Hy. Edw., 1880 for previously named cara carissima
relicta bianca Bianca is mistress to Cassio in Othello
ultronia form celia Celia is a daughter to Frederick in As You Like It.
editha Edw., 1875 subspecies of amatrix
mopsa Hy. Edw., 1880 A shepherdess, Winter's Tale for previously named ultronia
adriana Hy. Edw., 1880, form of ultronia
celia Hy. Edw., 1880, form of ultronia
cordelia Hy. Edw., 1880, form of connubialis
nerissa Hy. Edw., 1880, form of amica
timandra Hy. Edw., 1880, form of micronympha
hero Hy. Edw., 1885, preocc. by Hulst, 1884 for pn micronympha
jacquenetta Hy. Edw., 1880, form of micronympha fratercula
isabella Hy. Edw., 1880, form of similis
luciana Hy. Edw., 1875, preocc. By Stkr., 1874 Comedy of Errors
cleopatra Hy. Edw., 1875 preocc. by Stkr., 1874 Cleopatra is Queen of Egypt in Antony and Cleopatra
perdita Hy. Edw., 1875, preocc. by Stkr., 1874
fratercula form jaquenetta (a country wench in Shakespeare's Love's Labour's Lost)
amica form nerissa: from The Merchant of Venice Nerissa is the waiting-gentlewoman to Portia, also used by Edwards.
"paulina" Hy. Edw., 1880, form of lacrymosa
emilia Hy. Edw., 1881 for previously named lacrymosa
bianca Hy. Edw., 1880 for previously named relicta
"phrynia" Hy. Edw., 1880, form of relicta
"lucetta" Hy. Edw., 1881, form of angusi
phoebe Hy. Edw., 1885, preocc. By Hulst, 1885 for coelebs
"annida" Fager, 1882, form of palaeogama
duplicata Worthington, 1883 for previously named ilia
"decorata" Worthington, 1883, form of ilia
"conspicua" Worthington, 1883, form of ilia
"obsoleta" Worthington, 1883, form of ilia
"umbrosa" Worthington, 1883, form of ilia
confusa Worthington, 1883 for previously named ilia
lucilla Worthington, 1883 for previously named unijuga
George D. Hulst
carissima Hulst, 1880 subspecies of cara
pura Hulst, 1880
allusa Hulst, 1884
blandula Hulst, 1884 Charming underwing
sancta Hulst, 1884 for previously named connubialais
maestosa Hulst, 1884 Sad underwing black underwings
luctuosa Hulst, 1884 subspecies of retecta Yellow-grey underwing
"mellitula" Hulst, 1884 form of minuta
"hero" Hulst, 1884 form of micronympha
peramans Hulst, 1884 for previously named muliercula
constans Hulst, 1884 for previously named grynea
votiva Hulst, 1884 for previously named verrilliana
osculata Hulst, 1884 for previously named ilia zoe
petulans Hulst, 1884 for previously named parta
"phoebe" Hulst, 1885 form of coelebs
verecunda Hulst, 1884 subspecies of hermia
aurella Fischer, 1885 for previously named cerogama
"eliza" Fischer, 1885 form of cerogama
G. H. French:
"evelina" French, 1881 form of lacrymosa
hinda French, 1881 for previously named innubens
"zelica" French, 1881 form of lacrymosa
"currata" French, 1882 form of robinsoni
"sara" French, 1883 form of arizonae
"virens" French, 1886 form of connubialis
barnesi French, 1900 for previously named agrippina
texanae French, 1902
"julietta" French, 1916 form of junctura
denussa Ehrman, 1893, form of palaeogama
carolina Holl., 1903 for pn flebilis
albomacula Butler, 1892 for pn ilia
frenchi Poling, 1901 for pn allusa
chiricahua Poling, 190l for pn violenta
ouwah Poling, 190l, form of micronympha
8868 titania Dodge, 1900
orba Kusnezov, 1903 ORBA UNDERWING
a. edwardsi Kusnezov, 1903 subspecies of californica
werneri Biederman, 1909, form of verrilliana
euphemia Beutenmüller, 1907
nevadensis Beutenmüller, 1907
manitoba Beutenmüller, 1908
elsa Beutenmüller, 1918
agatha Beutenmüller, 1907, form of unijuga
coloradensis Beutenmüller, 1903, form of aholibah
suffusa Beutenmüller, 1903, form of amica
clarissima Beutenmüller, 1918, form of briseis
albida Beutenmüller, 1907, form of briseis
caerulea Beutenmüller, 1907 subspecies of cleopatra
carlota Beutenmüller, 1897, form of faustina
lydia Beutenmüller, 1907, form of faustina
rosa Beutenmüller, 1918, form of hermia
diantha Beutenmüller, 1907, form of hermia
ritana Beutenmüller, 1918, form of hermia
montana Beutenmüller, 1907, form of nevadensis
dolli Beutenmüller, 1907 subspecies of ophelia
clara Beutenmüller, 1903, form of relicta
sierrae Beutenmüller, 1907, form of stretchi
a. margherita Beutenmüller, 1918 subspecies of stretchi
lucinda Beutenmüller, 1907, form of ultronia
agatha Beutenmüller, 1907, form of unijuga
cassinoi Beutenmüller, 1918, form of unijuga patricia
Beutenmüller also used the following names, unaware that species descriptions had previously been given under other names:
fletcheri 1903, for unijuga
edna 1907, for angusi
eldoradensis 1907, for californica edwardsi
georgeana 1918, for grotiana
huachuca 1918, for arizonae
tela Strand, 1914 for previously named gracilis
arizonae (Strand, 1914), preocc. by Grt., 1873 for euphemia
subnatana (Strand, 1914) for previously named subnata
innubenta (Strand, 1914) for previously named innubens
electilella Strand, 1914 for previously named electilis
iliana Strand, 1914 for previously named ilia
insolabilella (Strand, 1914) for previously named insolabilis
briseana Strand, 1914, form of breseis
arizonensis Strand, 1914, form of arizonae
?juncturana Strand, 1914 form of arizonae
?juncturella Strand, 1914 form of arizonae
?juncturelloides Strand, 1914 form of arizonae
missouriensis Schwarz, 1915, form of robinsoni
obvia Schwarz, 1919, form of obscura
nigra Eastman, 1916, form of pura
aurantiaca Reiff, 1916 for previously named amica
novangliae Reiff, 1916 for previously named amica lineella
melanotica Reiff, 1916, form of amica lineella
normani Bartsch, 1916, form of ilia
chiquita Bartsch, 1916 for previously named coccinata
Samuel Edson Cassino (1856-1937): Cassino chose feminine names for the most part, but also chose to honour Reiff and Hiser.
sheba Cassino, 1919
Cassino gave names to several forms and subspecies, using geographic locations, female names and colours/shadings for forms "roseata," "rubra," "nigrescens",
"nigrescens" 1917, form of ultronia;
patricia Cassino, 1917 subspecies of unijuga;
minerva Cassino, 1917 subspecies of breseis;
elizabeth Cassino, 1918 subspecies of californica ;
manitobensis Cassino, 1918 subspecies of blandula ;
"utahensis" Cassino, 1918 subspecies of delilah;
"rubra" Cassino, 1918 form of faustina;
"hiseri" Cassino, 1918 in honour of O. F. Hiser and/or J. S. Hiserform of minuta;
dana Cassino, 1918 subspecies of mira;
"cleis" Cassino, 1918 form of sappho;
"atala" Cassino, 1918 form of semirelicta
"roseata" Cassino, 1919 form of arizonae;
albomarginata Cass., 1917, form of lacrymosa
minerva Cass., 1917, subspecies of breseis
Cassino also used the following names, unaware that species descriptions had previously been given under other names:
helena Cassino, 1917 for unijuga patricia;
reiffi Cassino, 1917 in honour of Reiff for ilia zoe;
barbara Cassino, 1918 for previously named cleopatra
pensacola Reiff, 1919 for consors
multoconspicua Reiff, 1919, form of antinympha
ellenensis Reiff, 1920 for previously named aholibah
santanas Reiff, 1920, form of ilia
hulsti Reiff, 1920 for previously named ilia
William Barnes: Barnes collaborated with James H. McDunnough in describing two forms in 1918, and then partnershipped with F. H. Benjamin to describe three additional forms and a subspecies in 1927:
a. beutenmülleri B. & McD., 19l0 subspecies of verrilliana
"vesta" Barnes & McDunnough, 1918, form of hermia
"pallida" Barnes & McDunnough, 1918, form of amatrix editha
a. loretta B. & McD., 1918 subspecies of neogama
a. sorsconi B. & Benj., 1924 subspecies of consors
"umbella" Barnes & Benjamin, 1927, form of delilah
"umbra" Barnes & Benjamin, 1927, form of delilah desdemona
"swetti" Barnes & Benjamin, 1927, form of delilah utahensis
gerhardi Barnes & Benjamin, 1927 subspecies of herodias
a. sorsconi B. & Benj., 1924 subspecies of consors
James H. McDunnough (1877–1962):
orion McDunnough, 1922 subspecies of meskei
"concolorata" McDunnough, 1922, form of meskei orion
distincta Schwarz, 1919 for previously named titania
"eureka" Schwarz, 1919 form of minuta
"obliterata" Schwarz, 1919 form of minuta
"walteri" Schwarz, 1923 form of hippolyta
"metalomus" Mayfield, 1922, form of sordida
"cinerea" Mayfield, 1922, possibly from Latin "cineris" = ashes form of gracilis
"lemmeri" Mayfield, 1923, to honour Lemmer form of gracilis
"engelhardti" Lemmer, 1937, to honour Engelhardt form of sordida
John G. Franclemont: Dr. Franclemont described four melanic forms, honouring his mother and three gentlemen.
"ruperti" Franclemont, 1938, for Lawrence R. Rupert, form of cerogama
"krombeini" Franclemont, 1938, for Karl V. Krombein, form of meskei
"mildredae" Franclemont, 1938, for Mildred, mother, form of neogama
"forbesi" Franclemont, 1938, for William Trowbridge Merriweather Forbes, form of parta
fischeri Meyer, 1958, ab. for previously named relicta
A. E. Brower: Brower honoured men (Benjamin, McDunnough, Erich and Bridwell), noted geography/range (California, Texas and Arkansas) and possibly commemorated presidents: Lincoln and Johnson who served sequentially.
grisatra Brower, 1936 Grisatra Underwing
"curvifascia" Brower, 1936, form of amica
benjamini Brower, 1937 in honor of F. H. Benjamin, subspecies of andromache Benjamin's Underwing
mcdunnoughi Brower, 1937 in honor of James H. McDunnough McDunnough's Underwing
"pulverulenta" Brower, 1940, form of connubialis
californiensis Brower, 1976 geography: California an underwing moth
erichi Brower, 1976 in honor of Erich Erich's underwing
johnsoniana Brower, 1976 perhaps to honour a president Johnson's underwing
lincolnana Brower, 1976 perhaps to honour a president Lincoln's underwing
texarkana Brower, 1976 geography: Texas to Arkansas Texarkana underwing
"bridwelli" Brower, 1976, in honor of Bridwell form of texarkana Bridwell's underwing
"obscura" Draudt, 1939, form of whitneyi
louiseae J. Bauer, 1965 perhaps after a mother, wife, daughter???? Louise's Underwing
Vernon A. Brou:
atocala, Brou, 1985 Brou's underwing. Vernon chose atocala "just to be different and [it] rhymes with Catocala."
charlottae, Brou, 1988, Charlotte's underwing. Vernon chose charlottae for "my wife Charlotte."
umbrosa, Brou, 2002
It is clear that Linnaeus started a trend around the love, marriage theme and many other describers picked up and followed this thread. When most of the terms seemed to be exhausted, Strecker selected names of famous women and Henry Edwards chose female Shakespearean characters.
A few describers honoured other entomologists or friends and even fewer, it seems, chose species names of any real descriptive value.
Words dealing with death and sadness were often chosen as names for those species with black underwings.
If there is any real romance in the naming of Catocala species, it may be in the few names given to honour wives of the namers.
If anyone knows the names of the wives of the latter entomologists, the information would be greatly appreciated. I am also looking for biographical information about any of the describers and will provide links below.
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