Moths of North Carolina
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View PDFErebidae Members:
Catocala Members:
7 NC Records

Catocala judith Strecker, 1874 - Judith's Underwing

Superfamily: Noctuoidea Family: ErebidaeSubfamily: ErebinaeTribe: CatocaliniP3 Number: 930771.00 MONA Number: 8781.00
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 judith, other members of this group that occur in North Carolina include habilis, serena, robinsonii, flebilis, angusi, obscura, residua, and sappho.
Field Guide Descriptions: Covell (1984); Beadle and Leckie (2012)Online Photographs: MPG, BugGuide, GBIF, BOLDTechnical Description, Adults: Forbes (1954); Sargent (1976)Technical Description, Immature Stages: Forbes (1954); Wagner et al. 2011)                                                                                 
Adult Markings: A medium-sized, pale gray Underwing with black hindwings. The forewings are smooth gray with no strong contrasting shades. The lines are thin, black, and inconspicuous; the teeth at the apex of the postmedian are shorter than in similar species. The hindwings are black with a narrow, fuscous fringe. The hindwing fringe color and small size distinguish this species from Catocala robinsonii, which also has a somewhat brighter forewing ground color. Catocala residua and obscura are also larger and darker gray on the forewings. The undersides of the wings have a pale basal area, which distinguishes it from Catocala miranda, which is otherwise similar in size and coloration (Forbes, 1954; Sargent, 1976).
Wingspan: 45-50 mm (Sargent, 1976)
Adult ID Requirements: Identifiable from photos showing hindwings, abdomen, or other specialized views [e.g., frons, palps, antennae, undersides].
Immatures and Development: Larvae are nearly black above (Wagner et al., 2011). The head is grayish and reticulated with reddish brown and vertically striped with brown at the apex (Forbes, 1954). The underside is greenish and has a series of fuscous or red-brown.
Larvae ID Requirements: Identifiable from good quality photos, especially where associated with known host plants.
Distribution in North Carolina
Distribution: All of our records come from the northern end of the Mountains
County Map: Clicking on a county returns the records for the species in that county.
Flight Dates:
 High Mountains (HM) ‚Č• 4,000 ft.
 Low Mountains (LM) < 4,000 ft.
 Piedmont (Pd)
 Coastal Plain (CP)

Click on graph to enlarge
Flight Comments: Univoltine, flying in July and August
Habitats and Life History
Habitats: Our few records come from Rich Cove Forests and Montane Alluvial Forests.
Larval Host Plants: Stenophagous, feeding on Shagbark Hickory (Carya ovata) (Wagner et al., 2011) - View
Observation Methods: Comes to some extent to blacklights; like other Underwings, it probably also comes well to bait
See also Habitat Account for Rich Montane Hardwood Forests
Status in North Carolina
Natural Heritage Program Status: [W3]
Natural Heritage Program Ranks: G5 [S2S3]
State Protection: Has no legal protection, although permits are required to collect it on state parks and other public lands.
Comments: This species is primarily found in the Ohio and upper Mississippi river valleys and the Northeast. It appears to be peripheral in North Carolina and so far only recorded in the New River drainage. We have very few records for this species and more information is needed on its distribution, habitat preferences, and population trends within the state before we can accurately determine its conservation status.

 Photo Gallery for Catocala judith - Judith's Underwing

Photos: 5

Recorded by: Bo Sullivan on 2015-08-15
Ashe Co.
Comment: Wingspan = 5.2 cm; forewing length = 2.7 cm.
Recorded by: Bo Sullivan on 2015-08-15
Ashe Co.
Comment: Underside
Recorded by: Darryl Willis on 2015-06-29
Cabarrus Co.
Recorded by: Darryl Willis on 2015-06-19
Cabarrus Co.
Recorded by: Darryl Willis on 2013-06-12
Cabarrus Co.