Currently viewing the category: "Underwing Moths and Fruit Piercing Moths"
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

 

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.

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 smaller and less colorful than the numerous Saturniids that are currently being submitted to our site.

Walnut Underwing

Walnut Underwing

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

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: confused
Location: New york
August 18, 2014 5:13 am
I found caught and let go of this bug im trying to know if its a moth or butterfly we live in newyork in a basic apartment and it never wanted to leave i kept it in a cup then i let it go out the window and IT KEPT COMING BACK!!!!!
Signature: Harley Quinn

Underwing Moth

Underwing Moth

Dear Harley,
This gorgeous moth is an Underwing Moth in the genus
Catocala, but we are uncertain of the species.  This is a large genus, and 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.”  The common name Underwing is derived from the contrasting and often brightly colored underwings that are generally hidden when the moth is resting.  They flash when the moth is in flight, causing a predator to search for a colorful prey, but while the moth is resting camouflaged on a tree trunk, it eludes its hunter and avoids getting eaten.  You didn’t indicate if this sighting was during the day or at night.  Underwings are often attracted to lights at night.

Underwing Moth

Underwing Moth

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject:  Walnut Underwing
Location:  Mount Washington, Los Angeles, California
Date:  June 27, 2014
Most every year, we get at least one visit from a Walnut Underwing, and since the endangered California Black Walnut Trees in the yard are growing nicely, we hope we will see an increase in the moth population.  About a week ago, a tattered individual was on the porch light and for the past several days, this beauty has been seen at night and is generally on the screen door the next morning.  Last night, a huge commotion in the kitchen turned out to be our feisty feline Boris trying to catch this Walnut Underwing which was on the other side of the glass window.  Thought it landed with its underwings visible, it flew before we could get the camera.  These dorsal and ventral (somewhat showing the patterns on the underwings) views will have to suffice for now.

Walnut Underwing

Walnut Underwing

Walnut Underwing

Walnut Underwing

 

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination