Species Catocala vidua - Widow Underwing - Hodges#8792
Kingdom Animalia (Animals)
Phylum Arthropoda (Arthropods)
Subphylum Hexapoda (Hexapods)
Class Insecta (Insects)
Order Lepidoptera (Butterflies and Moths)
Superfamily Noctuoidea (Owlet Moths and kin)
Genus Catocala (Underwings)
Species vidua (Widow Underwing - Hodges#8792)
Synonyms and other taxonomic changes
(J.E. Smith, 1797) (1)
J.E. Smith, 1797 (2)
Guenée, 1852 (3)
Phylogenetic sequence #930782
Explanation of Names
Species name vidua is Latin for widow.
Lafontaine & Schmidt (2010) included 101 species of the genus Catocala
in America north of Mexico. (7)
Powell & Opler (2009) reported 110 species in all of North America, and about 230 worldwide. (8)
Adult: forewing pale gray with black arc beginning mid-costa and running just above reniform spot to apex; upper AM and PM lines with heavy black shading; straight black streak runs parallel to inner margin from base to outer margin (streak is broken only by AM and ST lines, and may be described as a basal dash, median dash, and anal dash - all inline); reniform spot surrounded by white ring; subreniform spot with open "tail" connecting to PM line; hindwing black with broad white fringe.
Southern Ontario and Maine to Florida, west to Texas, north to Wisconsin.
Deciduous forests containing food plants; adults are nocturnal and attracted to light.
Adults fly July-October
Larvae feed on primarily on leaves of hickory, pecan, walnut (Juglandaceae); other hosts include oak, willow, and Black Locust (Robinia pseudoacacia).
Adults come to moth bait, so presumably feed on plant sap, etc..
One generation per year; overwinters as an egg laid on tree bark in the fall.
) lacks a black arc running from mid-costa to apex; Yellow-gray Underwing
) lacks a straight black streak running parallel to inner margin from base to outer margin (compare CBIF images
of all three species)
) and Marbled Underwing (C. marmorata
) lack a straight black streak running parallel to inner margin, the latter species also has orange bands on hindwing.
Barnes, Wm. & J.H. McDunnough, 1918. Illustrations of the North American species of the genus Catocala. Memoirs of the AMNH
, f.17; Pl.13
, f.6 (larva). (1)
Covell, p. 306, plate 34#14 (9)
Lafontaine J.D. & B.C. Schmidt, 2010. Annotated check list of the Noctuoidea (Insecta, Lepidoptera) of North America North of Mexico. p. 30.(7)
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: 181
|1.||Illustrations of the North American species of the genus Catocala. |
William Barnes, James Halliday McDunnough. 1918. Memoirs of the AMNH 2(1).
|2.||The Natural History of the Rarer Lepidopterous Insects of Georgia.|
James Edward Smith & John Abbot. 1797. J. Edwards, Cadell & Davies, and J. White, London. 2 vols., 214 pp., 104 pl. .
|4.||On the North American species of Catocala.|
Augustus Radcliffe Grote. 1872. Transactions of the American Entomological Society 4: 1-20.
|5.||Systematics of moths in the genus Catocala (Lepidoptera: Noctuidae). III.|
Gall, Lawrence F. & David C. Hawks. 2002. Journal of the Lepidopterists' Society. 56(4): 234-264.
|6.||The genus Catocala.|
George. D. Hulst. 1884. Bulletin of the Brooklyn Entomological Society 7(1): 14-56.
|8.||Moths of Western North America|
Powell and Opler. 2009. UC Press.
|9.||Peterson Field Guides: Eastern Moths|
Charles V. Covell. 1984. Houghton Mifflin Company.