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Catocala mira

Catocala mira
Angelica, Allegany County, New York, USA
August 3, 2007
Wow, there is a wide selection of similar looking underwings.


Images of this individual: tag all
Wonderful Underwing - Catocala mira Catocala mira

Moved from Underwings.

Reminds us of our recent post
which was identified as C. mira by J.D. Maybe he will take a look at yours! See

Reminds us
Thanks for the input. It sure seems the one I submitted is very similar to the three discussed by J.D. I don't see the black dashes on mine so that may limit to Catocala blandula or Catocala crataegi. Hopefully J.D. will pop in.


I believe this specimen is indeed C. mira. I should mention also that I've been told that blandula can also have the black dashes only more diffuse. And on this specimen, the darkened veins between the reniform spot and PM line lead me to think they are there but worn. A more reliable method to distinguish mira and blandula, is that on blandula the AM and PM lines meet near the inner margin.

Unfortunately to complicate the matter, some sources have photos of "blandula" where the lines never meet, though I suspect those may be misidentifications of mira. This specimen clearly shows AM and PM lines that never meet, which would exclude blandula. I should have mentioned this feature when I commented on the Balaban's photo, but their moth was worn to the point that one can't clearly see the AM/PM lines near the inner margin, thus that characteristic wasn't available to use in the ID.

Another distinguishing feature is that the PM line of blandula falls back basally near the costa and where it meets the costa, it gives the appearance of a semi-circle above the reniform spot. This is much less pronounced or absent in mira, as on your specimen, again excluding blandula.

Given these distinguishing characteristics, along with the degree of brown in the basal area, I'm quite confident this is mira, but given the difficulties in the Catocala genus, it's never a bad idea to get a second opinion. Sorry about the long post.

No need to be sorry regarding post as I am grateful you took the time to post. The more I looked at Catocala genus the more confusing it became and going to moth photographers just compounded that. Thanks so much for helping ID this critter. When taking photos, thought I had the same moth but upon viewing next morning on computer noticed indeed I had captured two different moths. The other near as I can tell is a Catocala cerogama.

Thanks much J.D.

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