|scientific name Catocala blandula |
common name Charming Underwing
Dry shrub stands, shrubby woodland edges, urban and farmyard ornamental plantings, etc.
In Alberta adults are on the wing from mid-July through August.
A medium-size ( 4.2-5.0 cm wingspan) moth with light and dark grey mottled forewings and bright yellow-orange hindwings. The forewings have a short black basal streak, a prominent black antemedial line and a thin black postmedian line, which bends outward in two long teeth near the apex. These two cross lines are bordered by patches of light brown, and are joined (or nearly so) by a black streak in the fold. The area on the upper half of the forewings between the reniform and the antemedial line is much paler grey, almost white. The hindwings are a bright deep yellow-orange. The rather narrow black median band turns inward and connects with a black streak from the wingbase, forming a long loop. The terminal black band is thicker, but is usually broken on the lower edge of the wing, creating a separate spot at the anal angle. The hindwing fringe is orange. The antennae are simple, and the sexes are alike. The only other yellow-orange underwing known from Alberta is the smaller and much less common Praeclara underwing. The forewings of praeclara are darker grey, without the brown scales and contrasts of blandula.
Adults come to both light and sugar baits, but like all Underwing moths are usually much more common at bait. The Charming underwing is one of the earliest underwings to appear on the wing, in mid July. Larvae are solitary defoliators, and the egg is the overwintering stage.
A common widespread species; no concerns.
No Alberta data; elsewhere Apple (Malus sp.), hawthorns (Crataegus sp.), and Saskatoon (Amelanchier sp.) (all Rosaceae).
Primarily eastern, from Nova Scotia west to central Alberta, south to Pennsylvania and Wisconsin. In Alberta it occurs across the parklands and the settled areas along the southern edge of the Boreal forest, north and east to just north of Edmonton. It has not been collected in the valleys of the grasslands region, but is present in the Cypress Hills.
Jan Scott (2014-07-28)
Catocala blandula has been found in Medicine Hat since 2014 in various parts of the city as well as Police Point Park so it is in some grasslands in the province
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