Moths of North Carolina
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View PDFErebidae Members: 28 NC Records

Catocala robinsonii Grote, 1872 - Robinson's Underwing


Taxonomy
Superfamily: Noctuoidea Family: ErebidaeSubfamily: ErebinaeTribe: CatocaliniP3 Number: 930769.00 MONA Number: 8780.00
Comments: One of 103 species in this genus that occur in North America (Lafontaine and Schmidt, 2010, 2015), 67 of which have been recorded in North Carolina. Included by Barnes and McDunnough (1918) in their Group V (also adopted by Forbes, 1954). This groups comprises 10 species, all of which feed on Hickories or Walnuts (Juglandaciae). In addition to robinsonii, other members of this group that occur in North Carolina include habilis, serena, judith, flebilis, angusi, obscura, residua, and sappho.
Identification
Field Guide Descriptions: Covell (1984); Beadle and Leckie (2012)Online Photographs: MPG, BugGuide, BOLDTechnical Description, Adults: Forbes (1954); Sargent (1976)Technical Description, Immature Stages: Forbes (1954); Wagner et al. (2011)                                                                                 
Adult Markings: A large, pale gray, dimorphic Underwing with black hindwings. In the typical form, the forewings are a uniform gray; in form missouriensis, a fairly broad black band runs obliquely from the base of the wing to the outer margin below the apex. The transverse lines are fine and black; a black basal dash is present in females but an anal dash is not well developed in either sex. The reniform is often somewhat reddish brown, followed by a dark stain the extends to the postmedian; the subreniform is usually open. The hindwing is solid black with a contrasting grayish white fringe. The typical form is similar to habilis, but that species is smaller and has orange and black hindwings. Catocala myristica is similar in size and color, but the ground color of the forewings is more milky or opalescent white; the reniform usually has a larger patch of rusty brown; the dark stain following the reniform is usually absent; and the fringe of the hindwings is a brighter white. Form missouriensis is also similar to the dark streaked form of myristica but the other differences hold that distinguish these two species. Catocala flebilis is another similar dark streaked species but usually has a darker, bluish gray ground color and has a more contrasting pattern of dark and pale areas along the costa.
Wingspan: 60-70 mm (Sargent, 1976); one NC specimen is 7.6 mm
Adult ID Requirements: Identifiable from good quality photos of unworn specimens.
Immatures and Development: Larvae are a dull mottled light brown with dorsal diamond-shaped spots (Forbes, 1954). A black subdorsal stripe is present and a darker one running below the stigma. The head is pale gray with a dark continuous stripe located behind the vertex.
Larvae ID Requirements: Identifiable from good quality photos, especially where associated with known host plants.
Distribution in North Carolina
Distribution: This species is probably widely distributed across the Piedmont and Mountains but may be missing from most of the Coastal Plain except for the floodplains of brownwater rivers, where rich sediments support populations of Shagbark Hickory
County Map: Clicking on a county returns the records for the species in that county.
Flight Dates:
 High Mountains (HM) ≥ 4,000 ft.
 Low Mountains (LM) < 4,000 ft.
 Piedmont (Pd)
 Coastal Plain (CP)

Click on graph to enlarge
Flight Comments: Univoltine, flying late in the season, from September to November
Habitats and Life History
Habitats: Our records all come from rich hardwood forests associated with nutrient-rich sediments and slopes along brownwater rivers in the Coastal Plain; mesic to dry stands associated with mafic rock formations, including gabbro and diabase in the Piedmont; and rich cove forests in the mountains
Larval Host Plants: Stenophagous. Wagner et al. (2011) list Shagbark Hickories and possibly Shellbark. In North Carolina, we have found populations found in association with both Northern Shagbark (Carya ovata) and Southern Shagbark (C. carolinae-septentrionalis)
Observation Methods: Most of our records come from blacklights but it also comes well to bait
Wikipedia
See also Habitat Account for Rich Wet-Dry Hardwood Forests
Status in North Carolina
Natural Heritage Program Status:
Natural Heritage Program Ranks: G4 [S3S4]
State Protection: Has no legal protection, although permits are required to collect it on state parks and other public lands.
Comments: This species occurs across a fairly wide area of the state but in association with fairly uncommon and restricted types of habitat -- most of our records come from sites that have large populations of Shagbark Hickories, which are themselves patchily distributed. Currently, this species is probably somewhat secure but more surveys need to be conducted in the fall to better determine its distribution and population trends.

 Photo Gallery for Catocala robinsonii - Robinson's Underwing

Photos: 24

Recorded by: David George, L. M. Carlson on 2021-09-17
Orange Co.
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Recorded by: David George, L. M. Carlson on 2021-09-12
Orange Co.
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Recorded by: Stephen Hall on 2020-10-22
Orange Co.
Comment: Female
Recorded by: Gary Maness on 2020-10-20
Guilford Co.
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Recorded by: Gary Maness on 2020-10-20
Guilford Co.
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Recorded by: Gary Maness on 2020-10-20
Guilford Co.
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Recorded by: Gary Maness on 2020-10-06
Guilford Co.
Comment: Black with white fringe hind wing. Rather large for this species ??
Recorded by: Gary Maness on 2020-09-26
Guilford Co.
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Recorded by: Gary Maness on 2020-09-26
Guilford Co.
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Recorded by: Owen McConnell on 2020-09-13
Durham Co.
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Recorded by: Gary Maness on 2019-10-08
Guilford Co.
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Recorded by: Darryl Willis on 2017-09-13
Cabarrus Co.
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Recorded by: Darryl Willis on 2016-09-15
Cabarrus Co.
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Recorded by: Stephen Hall on 2015-10-14
Orange Co.
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Recorded by: Paul Scharf on 2015-10-07
Warren Co.
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Recorded by: Paul Scharf on 2015-10-07
Warren Co.
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Recorded by: J.B. Sullivan on 2014-09-21
Mecklenburg Co.
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Recorded by: Paul Scharf on 2013-11-07
Warren Co.
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Recorded by: Paul Scharf on 2011-10-20
Warren Co.
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Recorded by: Paul Scharf on 2011-10-16
Warren Co.
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Recorded by: Paul Scharf on 2011-10-14
Warren Co.
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Recorded by: SPH on 2011-09-28
Randolph Co.
Comment: Wingspan = 7.6 cm; forewing length = 3.8 cm.
Recorded by: Paul Scharf on 2009-09-25
Warren Co.
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Recorded by: Steve Hall on 1992-10-03
Orange Co.
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