darling underwing

(Catocala cara)

               
Hodges #

8832

darling underwing
Conservation Status

IUCN Red List

not yet assessed

NatureServe

NNR - Unranked

SNR - Unranked

Minnesota

not listed

Occurrence

Common

Flight/Season

One generation. June to late October.

Habitat

 

Size

Total Length: 17 16 to 1¾

Wingspan: 2¾ to 3¼

         
          Photo by Benjamin Watkins
 
Identification

This is a medium to large sized, strikingly colored, underwing moth. Adults are 17 16 to 1¾ in length and have a wingspan of 2¾ to 3¼.

The forewings are violet brown and grayish-green with four dark jagged lines. The antemedial line is black and thin. It becomes barely visible as it approaches the inner margin. The median line is brown and diffuse. The postmedial line is black and thin. It is interrupted by two long, rearward-pointing teeth; then indistinct from the base of teeth toward the inner margin; then distinct at the inner margin and forming an "M" shape with the line on the opposite wing when the wings are closed. The kidney-shaped (reniform) spot has a pale grayish-green center, a dark margin, and a pale outer margin.

The hindwings are pink with a black median band, a black terminal band, and a broad white fringe that is checkered with black and gray along the veins.

The thorax is grayish-brown with two dark markings. There is a prominent tympanal hearing organ on each side of the thorax.

The antennae are slender and thread-like.

 
Similar
Species

Once-married underwing (Catocala unijuga) forewing reniform spot is dark and there is a whitish spot in front of it. The subterminal jagged line has a broad, whitish outline in front. The fringe on the hindwing is undulating.

Pink underwing (Catocala concumbens) wings are light gray. The hindwing fringe is white, straight, and uninterrupted.

 
Larval Food

Leaves of poplar and willow, especially black willow

 
Adult Food

 

 
Life Cycle

Eggs are laid on tree bark in the fall. They overwinter and hatch in the spring..

 
Behavior

Larvae are solitary feeders.

Adults are active at night. They are attracted to light. When at rest the wings are folded roof-like over the body. When approached or disturbed they spread their forewings revealing the startling color of the hindwings, possibly to scare off or give it time to escape a predator.

 
Distribution Distribution Map  

Sources: 21, 24, 27, 29, 30, 71, 75.

 
Comments

 

 
Taxonomy

Order:

Lepidoptera (butterflies and moths)

 

Suborder:

Glossata

 

Infraorder:

Neolepidoptera

 

Parvorder:

Heteroneura

 

No Rank:

Ditrysia

 

No Rank:

Obtectomera

 

Superfamily:

Noctuoidea (noctuid moths)

 

Family:

Erebidae

 

Subfamily:

Erebinae (underwings and kin)

 

Tribe:

Catocalini

 
Synonyms

 

 
Common
Names

darling underwing

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Glossary

Reniform spot

A kidney-shaped spot or outline in the outer median area near the costal margin on the forewing of many moths of the Noctuidae family.

 

 

 

 

 

       
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Benjamin Watkins
       
  darling underwing   darling underwing
       
  darling underwing   darling underwing
       
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Benjamin Watkins
8/7/2017

Location: Rockville, MN, Stearns County

darling underwing


     
     
 
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