Currently viewing the category: "Underwing Moths and Fruit Piercing Moths"
What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Bark colored moth
Location: Fair Harbor, Fire Island, New York
July 27, 2015 5:37 am
I’ve seen a few of these medium sized moths in Fire Island, NY. They stay on our cedar shingled house during the day unless disturbed.
Signature: Alison Sazinger

Underwing Moth

Underwing Moth

Dear Alison,
This is some species of Underwing Moth in the genus
Catocala.  Just last night, we posted a few images taken at our own porch light of a Walnut Underwing that visited our porch light.  We are not certain of your species.  According to BugGuide:  “Lafontaine & Schmidt (2010) listed 101 species of the genus Catocala in America north of Mexico.  Powell & Opler (2009) reported 110 species in all of North America, and about 230 worldwide. ”  The common name Underwing refers to the brightly colored underwings which are hidden when the moth is resting.  The upper wings of Underwing moths blend in perfectly with tree bark when the moth is resting, and a burst of color results when the disturbed moth takes flight.  A predator continues to search for the bright colors and easily overlooks the camouflaged moth.

Thank you for responding h so fast. I’ve never noticed them here before and now they seem common. When it flew I only saw dark brown.
Is the bright park on the dorsal side?
I’ll google the genus.
Thanks!
Alison Salzinger

Sue Dougherty, Ann Levitsky liked this post
What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination
Underwing on the Welcome Mat

Underwing on the Welcome Mat

Subject:  Walnut Underwing visits WTB?
Location:  Mount Washington, Los Angeles, California
July 26, 2015 9:29 PM
We never tire of visits from Walnut Underwings, and we have had more sightings this year than we can ever remember in a season.  We finally got a peep at those brightly colored underwings that give this Noctuoid its common name.

Under side of an Underwing

Under side of an Underwing

Ann Levitsky, Tip Crawford, Carmen Thompson, Sue Dougherty, Norman Gems, Laura Maura, Kitty Heidih liked this post
What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject:  Walnut Underwing
Location:  Mount Washington, Los Angeles, California
July 10, 2015
Summer is the time of year the Walnut Underwings visit our porch light, and we already sighted a more tattered individual earlier this year, but this beauty spent the entire day resting on the wooden siding.  The next night it was fluttering at the light.  We were concerned that it was not going about its normal activities, so we captured it and released it to a darker part of the garden.

Walnut Underwing

Walnut Underwing

 

Tip Crawford, Andrea Leonard Drummond liked this post
What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Bark-colored Moth
Location: Baton Rouge, Louisiana, USA
May 31, 2015 12:04 pm
Hello,
Nice bark-camouflaged moth with some color. I couldn’t find a comparable one on your site. Taken during the day, resting under a porch light. May 2015. Recognize it?
Signature: A Fan

Underwing Moth

Underwing Moth

Dear A Fan,
Your pretty moth is an Underwing Moth in the genus
Catocala, and though we are not able to provide you with a definite species name, we believe it may be Catocala ilia.  We just took an image of a Walnut Underwing at our Mount Washington, Los Angeles offices, but unlike your image, we did not capture a flash of the brightly colored underwings.  As you have noted, the upper wings of an Underwing Moth are an effective bark camouflage, and the flashing red and black insect appears to vanish when the Underwing lands on the trunk of a tree.

Thanks for the genus name! I know the calos part comes from Greek, kalos (beautiful). I like the way it just sat there quietly. I assume it just rests during part of the day and is active at night.

Thanks for the etymology lesson.  The Underwings are nocturnal, and they are frequently attracted to lights.  If they are disturbed during the day, they will fly, which is why we explained about the brightly colored wings distracting the predator, who continues to search for a morsel of that color when in fact the Underwing has blended with its background once it has landed on a tree trunk or other concealing facade.

Alisha Bragg, Sue Dougherty, Alfonso Moreno, Maryann Struman, Juliett Moth, Talya Martinez Cho, Kitty Heidih liked this post
What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Walnut Underwing Visits WTB?
Location:  Mount Washington, Los Angeles, California
March 30, 2015 7:00 AM
Each year we get visits from Walnut Underwings, and it is always a very exciting sighting, though our native Noctuoid is considerably than the numerous Saturniids that are being submitted to our site.

Walnut Underwing

Walnut Underwing

Sue Dougherty liked this post
What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Moth from South Africa
Location: Cape Town, South Africa
February 18, 2015 12:45 pm
Hi there!
I hope you guys can help to identify this magnificent moth.
Spotted in a garden in Cape Town, South Africa in mid Feb.
Lots of granadilla and lavender plants around.
Never seen one even remotely similar – the photo is pretty good though, I hope we can identify it and find out more.
Please let me know what turns up!
Looking forward to your reply and thanks for the help!
Signature: Yours truly, NJV

Echo Owlet Moth

Echo Owlet Moth

Dear NJV,
Your lovely moth with its curled wings reminded us of an Australian Fruit Piercing Moth, so we searched the subfamily Catocalinae on iSpot and we quickly found the Echo Owlet Moth,
Achaea echo, a perfect match for your moth.  The species is also pictured on African Moths.

Superb!!
Thank you so much for the help, I really appreciate it!
Have a fantastic day,
Kind Regards
Norman Visser

Melissa Cooley, Rachel Carpenter, Jennifer MacAulay, Ana Šorc, Mary Lemmink Lawrence, Juliett Moth, Amy Gosch, Kristi E. Lambert, Carmen Thompson, Alfonso Moreno, Chris Cooper, Kathy Haines, Kitty Heidih, Mathew Becker, Cora Lukehart liked this post
What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination