Tim Dyson: Night Vision Photography

Catocala relicta, form clara, August 16, 2004, Tim Dyson copyright

This species has several different forms, and all can originate from the same parents.

Catocala relicta form "phrynia", Peterborough, Ontario,
August 21, 2004, courtesy of Tim Dyson copyright.

Catocala relicta, Peterborough, Ontario,
August 27, 2004, courtesy of Tim Dyson copyright.

When this species is observed at lights, the forewings are always folded over, hiding the striking underwings. Studies have shown this moth will choose to rest on a background that will camouflage its presence. I (Bill Oehlke) have encountered barely discernible "clara" resting on white birch bark and also on the white remay sleeves that I use in the woods for rearing Saturniidae larvae.

It would be most interesting to learn if form "phrynia" would chose a gray background over a white one.

Although Catocala relicta is easily recognized, even with its forewings concealing the flashy white-banded underwings, there are some species whose underwing characters help to distinguish them from other species.

This image clearly shows a discal lunule in the underside hindwing cell. Some species are without the lunule.

It is also interesting that there are bands on the underside of the forewing, a character typical of the Catocala.

Catocala relicta, Peterborough, Ontario, August 22, 2004, courtesy of Tim Dyson copyright.

Also note the spines or "spurs" on the legs.

The moths's left antenna was broken and has been retouched digitally.

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