darling underwing

(Catocala cara)

darling underwing
Photo by Benjamin Watkins
  Hodges #

8832

 
 
Conservation Status
  IUCN Red List

not listed

     
  NatureServe

NNR - Unranked

SNR - Unranked

     
  Minnesota

not listed

     
           
           
           
 
Description
 
 

Darling underwing is a medium to large sized, strikingly colored, underwing moth. Adults are 17 16 to 1¾ in length and have a wingspan of 2¾ to 3¼.

The forewings are violet brown and grayish-green with four dark jagged lines. The antemedial line is black and thin. It becomes barely visible as it approaches the inner margin. The median line is brown and diffuse. The postmedial line is black and thin. It is interrupted by two long, rearward-pointing teeth; then indistinct from the base of teeth toward the inner margin; then distinct at the inner margin and forming an "M" shape with the line on the opposite wing when the wings are closed. The kidney-shaped (reniform) spot has a pale grayish-green center, a dark margin, and a pale outer margin.

The hindwings are pink with a black median band, a black terminal band, and a broad white fringe that is checkered with black and gray along the veins.

The thorax is grayish-brown with two dark markings. There is a prominent tympanal hearing organ on each side of the thorax.

The antennae are slender and thread-like.

 
     
 

Size

 
 

Total Length: 17 16 to 1¾

Wingspan: 2¾ to 3¼

 
     
 

Similar Species

 
 

Once-married underwing (Catocala unijuga) forewing reniform spot is dark and there is a whitish spot in front of it. The subterminal jagged line has a broad, whitish outline in front. The fringe on the hindwing is undulating.

Pink underwing (Catocala concumbens) wings are light gray. The hindwing fringe is white, straight, and uninterrupted.

 
     
 
Habitat
 
 

 

 
     
 
Biology
 
 

Season

 
 

One generation. June to late October.

 
     
 

Behavior

 
 

Larvae are solitary feeders.

Adults are active at night. They are attracted to light. When at rest the wings are folded roof-like over the body. When approached or disturbed they spread their forewings revealing the startling color of the hindwings, possibly to scare off or give it time to escape a predator.

 
     
 

Life Cycle

 
 

Eggs are laid on tree bark in the fall. They overwinter and hatch in the spring..

 
     
 

Larva Hosts

 
 

Leaves of poplar and willow, especially black willow

 
     
 

Adult Food

 
 

 

 
     
 
Distribution
 
 

Distribution Map

 

Sources

21, 24, 27, 29, 30, 71, 75.

 
  8/8/2017      
         
 

Occurrence

 
 

Common

 
         
 
Taxonomy
 
 

Order

Lepidoptera (butterflies and moths)  
 

Suborder

Glossata  
 

Infraorder

Neolepidoptera  
  Parvorder Heteroneura  
  No Rank Ditrysia  
  No Rank Obtectomera  
 

Superfamily

Noctuoidea (noctuid moths)  
 

Family

Erebidae  
 

Subfamily

Erebinae (underwings and kin)  
 

Tribe

Catocalini  
 

Genus

Catocala  
       
 

Synonyms

 
 

 

 
       
 

Common Names

 
 

darling underwing

 
       

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Glossary

Reniform spot

A kidney-shaped spot or outline in the outer median area near the postmedial line on the forewing of many moths.

 

 

 

 

 

 
 
Visitor Photos
 
           
 

Share your photo of this insect.

 
  This button not working for you?
Simply email us at info@MinnesotaSeasons.com.
Attach one or more photos and, if you like, a caption.
 
 

Benjamin Watkins

 
    darling underwing   darling underwing  
           
    darling underwing   darling underwing  
           
 
MinnesotaSeasons.com Photos
 
 

 

 
           
           

 

Camera

     
 
Slideshows
 
 
     
     
     

 

slideshow

       
 
Visitor Videos
 
       
 

Share your video of this insect.

 
  This button not working for you?
Simply email us at info@MinnesotaSeasons.com.
Attach a video, a YouTube link, or a cloud storage link.
 
 

 

 
     
     
       
       
       
 
Other Videos
 
     
     
     
       

 

Camcorder

 
 
Visitor Sightings
 
           
 

Report a sighting of this insect.

 
  This button not working for you?
Simply email us at info@MinnesotaSeasons.com.
Be sure to include a location.
 
  Benjamin Watkins
8/7/2017

Location: Rockville, MN, Stearns County

darling underwing  
           
 
MinnesotaSeasons.com Sightings
 
 

 

 

 

 

Binoculars


Last Updated:

About Us | Privacy Policy | Contact Us | © 2022 MinnesotaSeasons.com. All rights reserved.