Moths of North Carolina
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Catocala Members:
2 NC Records

Catocala unijuga Walker, [1858] - Once-married Underwing

Superfamily: Noctuoidea Family: ErebidaeSubfamily: ErebinaeTribe: CatocaliniP3 Number: 930797.00 MONA Number: 8805.00
Comments: One of 103 species in this genus that occur in North America (Gall and Hawks, 2010; Kons and Borth, 2015a,b), 67 of which have been recorded in North Carolina. Belongs to Group X of Barnes and MacDunnough (1918), a large group of poplar- and willow-feeding species. Except for marmorata, this group occurs primarily north and west of our area.
Field Guide Descriptions: Covell (1984); Beadle and Leckie (2012)Online Photographs: MPG, BugGuide, GBIF, BOLDTechnical Description, Adults: Barnes and MacDunnough (1918); Forbes (1954); Sargent (1976)Technical Description, Immature Stages: Forbes (1954); Wagner et al.(2011)                                                                                 
Adult Markings: A large, powdery Underwing, with blue-gray forewings and orange- or crimson-and-black banded hindwings. The ground color of the forewings is pale gray, mottled with white and dark gray. The antemedian is dark and waved, the postmedia dark and dentate, and the subterminal regularly dentate and contrastingly filled with white. The reniform is fairly diffuse. No other species in our area is similar in pattern.
Wingspan: 70-90 mm (Sargent, 1976)
Adult ID Requirements: Identifiable from good quality photos of unworn specimens.
Immatures and Development: Larvae are gray with a reddish hump on A5; the side of the head has strong black striping that joins across the vertex (Forbes, 1954)
Larvae ID Requirements: Identifiable from good quality photos, especially where associated with known host plants.
Distribution in North Carolina
Distribution: Recorded only in the eastern Piedmont and Outer Banks in North Carolina
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: Flies from August to October in the North (Sargent, 1976); one of our records comes from August, but no date was included on the label for the other one
Habitats and Life History
Habitats: One of our records comes from a barrier island, where Cottonwoods do not occur (but where willows are common). The other comes from Wake County, where again Cottonwoods are very scarce.
Larval Host Plants: Stenophagous, feeding on Populus, especially Aspen (Wagner et al., 2011). Forbes (1954) and Sargent (1976) list willows in addition to poplars. - View
Observation Methods: Collection methods for the North Carolina specimens were not recorded; like other Underwings, it probably comes at least somewhat to lights but more frequently to bait
See also Habitat Account for Shoreline Shrublands
Status in North Carolina
Natural Heritage Program Status: [W3]
Natural Heritage Program Ranks: G5 [SH]
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 Northern and Midwestern, and with only two old, widely separated -- temporally and spatially -- records from North Carolina, it is likely that our records represent rare strays made during years when there were population outbreaks further north. Nonetheless, suitable habitat may exist here, and it should be looked for in areas, such as the Lower Roanoke floodplain, where Cottonwoods are abundant.

 Photo Gallery for Catocala unijuga - Once-married Underwing

Photos: 2

Recorded by: T.B. Mitchell on 1958-00-00
Dare Co.
Recorded by: C.S. Brimley on 1916-08-01
Wake Co.