This gorgeous moth was attracted to our porch light. I couldn't believe something this big and colorful hadn't been previously recorded in the state. Photos were sent to Derek Sikes and others and finally the actual moth was sent to Larry Gall in Connecticut, considered the expert on the genus, for id confirmation. The specimen will be returned to UAM (Univ. of Alaska Museum) since it is the first record for the genus in the state. Amazingly, the following night, another Catocala was attracted to the same light, but it was a different species--C.semirelicta
. According to Larry and others, the median black band on the hind wing extending all the way to the inner margin distinguishes this species from C. semirelicta.
Matt Goff posted a photo
of a Catocala on Sept 17 from Sitka, not that far west of here--3rd record for the genus for the state. According to Larry Gall, it can't be id'd to species from this photo. I wonder if our very warm summer has prompted them to move this way.