Underwing Moth

Underwing moth
We found this moth in our backyard in Austin, Texas. We think it is an underwing moth but aren’t sure which one. Can you help?
The Stences

Hi Stences,
You are correct. This is an Underwing Moth in the genus Catocala. There are so many similar looking species it would take an expert to give you a definitive species identification, and even then, it might require the specimen. We will ask around for a second opinion. We were directed to contact Edward Knudson, an expert in this genus and here is his response: “The Underwing moth from Austin, TX is Catocala ilia, one of the most common of the 60 or so species in Texas. The larvae feed on Oaks. Ed”

9 thoughts on “Underwing Moth”

  1. I’m sad to know that my visitor is not related to Godzilla, but happy to find out that it is an Underwing Caterpillar. I hope I recognize him/her when he gets his wings.
    Thank you.

    • Many Underwings have brightly colored underwings that are hidden beneath the forewings when the moth is a rest. The forewings are often brown or gray with markings that resemble bark, enabling the moth to disappear into a camouflaged background when at rest.

  2. I had one of these Underwing moths’ on my deck this morning. Didn’t know what it was, thanks for your website, I found out. Shoshone, Idaho.

  3. I found a Underwing moth on my deck this morning, Aug. 3rd 2017, Shoshone, Idaho.
    Didn’t know what it was, thanks to your website, I know now. Joann of Shoshone, Idaho.

  4. Ed Knudson was a good friend of mine and fellow entomologist for the past 40 years, but he was wrong in identifying this species as Catocala ilia. Ed recently died while out on a collecting field trip in Texas.


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