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

Subject:  Catacola Verrilliana
Location:  Louisa, Va
Date: 09/03/2017
Time: 12:31 PM EDT
We found two specimens of catacola verrilliana on our place in Louisa, Va. It seems that it’s an invasive species mainly found in the western part of the US. We have raised butterflies but have no experience with moths. One of the specimens is alive, so we were wondering what to feed it. Any help or info would be helpful. Thanks, George Tyler
Your Name:  George Tyler

Underwing Moth

Dear George,
We are curious what caused you to identify your Underwing Moth in the genus
Catocala as Catocala verrilliana, a species we found pictured on BugGuide.  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.”  In our opinion, many species are very difficult to distinguish from one another, and we would speculate that you more likely encountered a species known to range in your area.  We browsed through all the species of Underwings posted to BugGuide, and we could not conclusively identify your individual.  You can try feeding your Underwing overly ripe fruit like plums or peaches.  If you break the skin, your Underwing will have an easier time feeding.

Thank you for your response.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Largish Moff in Michigan
Location: SE Michigan
August 20, 2017 2:53 pm
Hello Doc,
I found a big moth on my van’s window frame today. That’s a good indicator of scale, right? I bet it was close to 1 5/8″ long. Do you know the Type?
Signature: -Eric B.

Underwing, we believe

Dear Eric,
We believe this is an Underwing Moth in the genus Catocala, and based on this BugGuide image, it sure looks like The Sweetheart,
Catocala amatrix.  The bare spot on the thorax is a good indication that this is an older individual.  Underwings are so named because their upper wings blend in with tree bark when they are at rest, and if disturbed, they flash often brightly colored underwings, like in this BugGuide image.  Then when the moth comes to rest again and vanishes, it evades getting eaten because any sharp-eyed predator will be looking for much more brightly colored prey.  According to BugGuide:  “larvae feed on leaves of several species of poplar (Populus spp.) and Black Willow (Salix nigra).”

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Underwing moth?
Location: Mayfield, KY
June 7, 2017 11:29 am
I have been trying to identify this moth for some time now. The closest match I have found in my book is a Widow Underwing. This was found in Western Kentucky in May.
Signature: Janet Fox

Underwing

Dear Janet,
We agree that this appears to be an Underwing in the genus
Catocala, but we do not have the necessary skills to provide a definitive species identification for you.  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.”  Many of those species look quite similar.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Moth in Jakarta
Location: Jakarta
October 30, 2016 5:41 pm
Hi. This guy/gal was hanging on our patio wall in Jakarta, Indonesia, in late October. Any idea what it’s called?
Love your site. Thanks!
Signature: BT

Fruit Piercing Moth

Fruit Piercing Moth

Dear BT,
While we did not find an exact visual match online, we did find several similar looking moths which makes us feel pretty confident this is a Fruit Piercing Moth in the subfamily Calpinae, similar to these images on this Bengkulu Blog or this image from the Papua Insect site.  It seems to most closely resemble
Eudocima (Adris) prolai from the Papua Insect site.

Fruit Piercing Moth

Fruit Piercing Moth

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Some kind of catocala moth?
Location: Troy, VA
August 3, 2016 9:11 am
After doing a search, I’m pretty sure this is a catocala moth, what kind eludes me. It’s lovely, whatever it is, and it was quite obliging by showing its underwings.
Signature: Grace Pedalino

Large Yellow Underwing

False Underwing

Dear Grace,
Though the common name Underwing is shared by your moth as well as the Underwings in the genus
Catocala, your individual is actually a False Underwing, Allotria elonympha, which we identified on BugGuide.  According to BugGuide:  “Larvae feed on a variety of deciduous trees, such as Black Gum (Nyssa sylvatica), hickories, walnuts.”  Black Gum is also the only host listed for The Hebrew you just submitted, so we are speculating there is at least one growing nearby.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject:  Walnut Underwing flashes its colors in Mount Washington
Location:  Mount Washington, Los Angeles, California
July 10, 2016 10:30 PM
Though we have managed to get images of Walnut Underwings several times each year, getting a good glimpse at the gorgeously marked underwings responsible for the common name is not that easy.  This beauty was quite cooperative tonight.  After startling it when we walked out onto the porch to dump a pot full of water into the garden, it remained “posing” on the ground until we had time to run for the camera and we got a few images using the on-camera flash.

Walnut Underwing

Walnut Underwing

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination