Tim Dyson: Night Vision Photography

Catocala concumbens, Peterborough, Ontario, August 20, 2004, Tim Dyson copyright

This species has the common names "Sleepy Underwing" or "Pink Underwing", much more "socially acceptable" than a literal translation of the scientific name.

The Catocala have a fascinating history of assigned scientific names. Read Classification and Common Names. Use your browser "Back" button to return to this page.

The unchecked, wide, white hindwing fringe, limited markings on pale-gray forewings markings, brown thoracic collar and smaller size distinguish this species from Catocala cara.

C. cara has hindwing fringe that is heavily checked along the wing veins and has a dull-purple tinge to much darker and larger forewings. The thoracic collar tends to be darker.

Catocala cara, Peterborough, Ontario, August 19, 2004, Tim Dyson copyright

The differences are readily apparent when one sees the two species side by side.

Catocala cara (left), Catocala concumbens (right) Peterborough, Ontario,
August 27, 2004, Tim Dyson copyright

Catocala concumbens, Peterborough, Ontario,
August 15, 2004, courtesy of Tim Dyson copyright.

When this species is observed at lights, the forewings are always folded over, hiding the striking underwings.

Even in flight, the white fringe is in startling contrast to the pink and black banding of the hindwing. Eyes are "aglow", reflecting any light.

Catocala concumbens, Peterborough, Ontario, August 20, 2004, courtesy of Tim Dyson. copyright.

I have not observed this moth to be a strong flier. Perhaps that or the quiet forewing shades of gray is how it got its common name of "Sleepy Underwing".

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

This image clearly shows no discal lunule in the underside hindwing cell. It is also interesting that there are bands on the underside of the forewing, a character typical of the Catocala.

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

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