Other Common Names
Great Yellow-underwing Moth (1)
Synonyms and other taxonomic changes
(J.E. Smith, 1797) (2)
J.E. Smith, 1797 (1)
Grote, 1872 (3)
Franclemont, 1938 (6)
Explanation of Names
Specific epithet from Greek νέος γάμος (neos gamos) meaning "newlywed."
Form mildredae Franclemont, 1938 is named for the author's mother, Mildred Frances (nee Cockram) Franclemont.
Adult - forewing grayish with well-defined AM and PM lines, having significant brown scaling in post-median area bordering distal edge of PM line and sometimes in AM area; reniform spot large and reddish-brown; subreniform spot round to pork chop shaped and can be open or closed (i.e. no elongated "tail" extending to subterminal area); black basal dash present in both sexes; head and thorax grayish while abdomen is orange/yellow dorsally. A melanic form "mildredae" has all-black forewings. Hindwing with broad black and yellow/orange bands, as in several other Catocala species.
Ontario and Quebec to Florida, west through Texas and Oklahoma to Arizona, north to Colorado and Wisconsin. (8)
Adults fly from July to late September in the north; as early as June in the south.
Larvae feed on leaves of black walnut(1)
, butternut, and other Juglans
species, plus hickory (Carya
), and oak (Quercus
Overwinters as an egg; eggs are deposited on tree bark in the fall and hatch in the spring.
Larva; pupa in leaf shelter; pupa; adult
is often indistinguishable by photo from neogama
. However, male subnata
lack the black basal dash that is present in neogama
allowing any image of a specimen without the black basal dash to be identified as subnata
. Outside of dissection or sequencing, specimens with
the black basal dash can only reliably be identified by examination of the hind tibia:
subnata; cylindrical with ventral surface densely covered with evenly distributed spines
neogama; compressed/flattened with ventral surface sparsely covered with sporadically distributed spines
Comparison of spines of subnata (top), and neogama (bottom):
has a brownish head and thorax, and usually an open subreniform spot
has a small, flattened reniform spot and darker (orangish) banded hindwings. There is a wide separation between the antemedian line and the subreniform spot.
Barnes, Wm. & J.H. McDunnough, 1918. Illustrations of the North American species of the genus Catocala. Memoirs of the AMNH
, f.10-12; Pl.11
, f.8-9 (larva). (2)
Smith, J.E. & J. Abbot, 1797. The natural history of the rarer lepidopterous insects of Georgia. J. Edwards, Cadell & Davies, and J. White, London.
, vol. 2: 175
; Pl. 88