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Photo#25574
Sweetheart underwing? - Catocala ultronia

Sweetheart underwing? - Catocala ultronia
Richmond, Chesterfield County, Virginia, USA
July 22, 2005
Size: I inch
I think that flaring the bright underwings is definitely a defensive measure, as this beauty didn't do that until the June bugs bombed it, and then again when I annoyed it to recreate the shot.

Images of this individual: tag all
Sweetheart underwing? - Catocala ultronia Sweetheart underwing? - Catocala ultronia Sweetheart underwing? - Catocala ultronia

Catocala ultronia (8857)
I am going to end this debate. This moth is Catocala ultronia, "Ultronia underwing". It is not the "Sweetheart underwing", Catocala amatrix (8834), which is twice the size of C. ultronia in the north and three times the size in north Florida.

Bob being an expert ...
...I'm happy with his diagnosis. Now how do I post this picture to the guide?

8857 - Ultronia Underwing - Catocala ultronia
Photos can be deceptive. According to Covell, Ultronia is just a bit larger than Sweetheart. Regardless of size, they are both eye-stoppers.

 
Size question.
Bob, in my experience, ultronia is relatively wimpy, and amatrix is just gigantic (Cincinnati, and southern Missouri). Maybe it is a gender thing, or a regional thing? Just curious:-)

 
I agree...
It definitely looks more like Ultronia than Sweetheart, in spite of its small size. I'm glad I put the ruler in this photo, as evidence of size, the first time I've ever done that!

No.
This is not the sweetheart. Those are HUGE, and have a dark stripe across the forewing,from the base to the tip, or nearly so. They tend to be more grey than brown, too. This specimen sports a forewing pattern I have not seen before.

 
Dang it, I thought I had this one for sure
Well, the mystery is on, then. What is this lovely night flyer?

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