white underwing

(Catocala relicta)

               
Hodges #

8803

white underwing
Conservation Status

IUCN Red List

not yet assessed

NatureServe

NNR - Unranked

SNR - Unranked

Minnesota

not listed

Occurrence

Common

Flight/Season

One generation, July to mid-October

Habitat

Deciduous forests, especially aspen forests

Size

Total Length: 17 16 to 1

Wingspan: 2 to 3

         
          Photo by Nicole Vasquez

Identification

This is a medium to large sized underwing moth. Adults are 17 16 to 1 in length and have a wingspan of 2 to 3. Males and females are identical in appearance.

The forewings are white with a dusting of gray and dark gray scales. The amount of dark scaling varies greatly between populations—in some population the forewings are mostly white, in other populations they are mostly dark gray. They are crossed with several jagged, light to dark gray lines, including a broad median line. The median line passes through the kidney-shaped spot in the outer median area (reniform spot). The reniform spot is dark gray and may have some light spots. The smaller circular spot closer to the inner margin (subreniform spot) is white and outlined with gray. A line nearest to the outer margin (terminal line) consists of row of dark gray spots between the veins. The fringe is light gray. The outer margin of the forewing is scalloped.

The hindwings are black with a broad, curved, white median band, a narrow white stripe near the margin, and a white fringe.

The thorax is dark gray. There is a prominent tympanal hearing organ on each side of the thorax.

The antennae are slender and thread-like.

The caterpillar is whitish and about 3 in length. There is a dark gray, saddle-like band partially covering the fifth and sixth abdominal segments (A5 and A6). The band extends to the leg-like appendage (proleg) on both segments. The breathing openings (spiracles) are black with a narrow white border. There is a fringe of numerous, long, hair-like growths (setae) near the base (subventral area) of each segment. The head has a dark band across the top and dark mottling near the triangle (frons).

Mature caterpillars are found from late June to early July.

 
Similar
Species

This is the only underwing with a white band on the hindwing.


Larval Food

Mostly quaking aspen (Populus tremuloides), but also willows (Salix spp.) and other cottonwoods and poplars (Populus spp.)

 
Adult Food

Flower nectar

 
Life Cycle

The eggs overwinter and hatch in April or May.

 
Behavior

Adults are nocturnal and are attracted to light.


Distribution Distribution Map  

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


Comments

Subspecies
Catocala relicta elda was formerly considered a subspecies, but is now treated as a synonym of Catocala relicta.


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

Catocala elda

Catocala relicta elda

 
Common
Names

the relict

white underwing


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Glossary

frons

The upper part of an insect’s face, roughly corresponding to the forehead.

 

proleg

A fleshy structure on the abdomen of some insect larvae that functions as a leg, but lacks the five segments of a true insect leg.

 

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.

 

seta

A usually rigid bristle- or hair-like outgrowth on butterflies and moths used to sense touch. Plural: setae.

 

spiracle

A small opening on the surface of an insect through which the insect breathes.

 

tympanum

An external hearing structure. In reptiles and amphibians, the circular, disk-like membrane that covers the ear opening. In insects, the membrane covering the air sac and sensory neurons. Plural: tympani.

 

 

 

 

 

       

Visitor Photos

   
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Nicole Vasquez


Not the best picture but noticed there was not one on the site. Found on the side of building in resting position.

  white underwing    

       
       
       

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  Catocala relicta (White Underwing)
Allen Chartier
 
   

 

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  White Underwing Moth - Catocala relicta
wetvideocamera
 
   
 
About

Published on Sep 11, 2012

White Underwing Moth, a Noctuid moth with black underwings and white bands across them. Seen at Barnet Marine Park, Burnaby, BC

( Catocala relicta ) September 11, 2012

 
     
  White Underwing Moth (Erebidae: Catocala relicta) Dorsal View
Carl Barrentine
 
   
 
About

Published on Aug 28, 2011

Photographed at Fisher, Minnesota (28 August 2011). Thank you to Maury Heiman (@Bugguide.net) for confirming the identity of this specimen!

 
     
  Catocala relicta
wetvideocamera
 
   
 
About

Published on Nov 16, 2013

White Underwing Moth or Relict seen at Barnet Marine Park, Burnaby, BC September 11, 2012

 
     

 

Camcorder

         

Visitor Sightings

   
Share your sighting of this insect.

Nicole Vasquez
9/22/2017

Location: Silver Bay, MN - Lake County

Not the best picture but noticed there was not one on the site. Found on the side of building in resting position.

white underwing


     
     
 

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