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

Catocala mira Grote, 1876 - Wonderful Underwing

Superfamily: Noctuoidea Family: ErebidaeSubfamily: ErebinaeTribe: CatocaliniP3 Number: 930844.00 MONA Number: 8863.00
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 XVII (also adopted by Forbes, 1954), which feed mainly on members of the Rosaceae; 12 other members of this group (as redefined by Kons and Borth, 2015b) also occur in North Carolina.
Field Guide Descriptions: Covell (1984); Beadle and Leckie (2012)Online Photographs: MPG, BugGuide, iNaturalist, Google, BAMONA, GBIF, BOLDTechnical Description, Adults: Barnes and McDunnough (1918); Forbes (1954); Sargent (1976)                                                                                 
Adult Markings: A medium-sized Underwing, with medium gray forewings and orange hindwings that have heavy black bands. The median area of the forewing is bluish-gray with a pale band extending obliquely along the outer side of the antemedian from the costa down to the subreniform, which is usually whitish and conspicuously ringed with dark gray (Forbes, 1954; Sargent, 1976). A basal dash is present but the basal area is not heavily shaded with brown or black as it is in crataegi, blandula, and pretiosa, nor is the inner margin as darkly shaded as in crataegi and blandula. The hindwings are often a deeper orange-yellow shade than other members of this group, but the black bands are otherwise similar. In addition to the differences from blandula and crataegi noted above, the gap between the antemedian and postmedian lines at the fold is wider than in those species. Differences from some forms of Catocala aesivalia can be subtle, but mira usually has an area of richer brown between the postmedian and subterminal lines and usually shows more contrast between the pale and dark areas in the median part of the forewing (Kons and Borth, 2015b).
Wingspan: 40-50 mm (Sargent, 1976)
Adult ID Requirements: Identifiable from good quality photos of unworn specimens.
Distribution 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
Habitats and Life History
Habitats: Our records from the Coastal Plain come from riparian habitats associated with brownwater river. Some of our Mountain records come from high ridges.
Larval Host Plants: Larvae feed mainly on hawthorn but have also been reported on crabapple and plum (Wagner et al., 2011) - View
See also Habitat Account for General Rosaceous Thickets
Status in North Carolina
Natural Heritage Program Status:
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.

 Photo Gallery for Catocala mira - Wonderful Underwing

Photos: 7

Recorded by: tom ward on 2023-07-26
Buncombe Co.
Recorded by: Jim Petranka on 2022-07-15
Madison Co.
Recorded by: Jim Petranka on 2022-07-15
Madison Co.
Recorded by: Jim Petranka and Becky Elkin on 2019-07-04
Madison Co.
Recorded by: Jim Petranka and Becky Elkin on 2019-07-04
Madison Co.
Recorded by: JBS on 2012-06-18
Northampton Co.
Recorded by: SPH on 2012-06-18
Northampton Co.