Moths of North Carolina
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Catocala Members:
82 NC Records

Catocala palaeogama Guenée, 1852 - Oldwife Underwing

Superfamily: Noctuoidea Family: ErebidaeSubfamily: ErebinaeTribe: CatocaliniP3 Number: 930784.00 MONA Number: 8795.00
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 VI (also adopted by Forbes, 1954). This groups comprises 15 species, all of which feed on Hickories or Walnuts (Juglandaciae). In addition to palaeogama, other members of this group that occur in North Carolina include retecta, dejecta, ulalume, insolabilis, myristica, vidua, maestosa, lachrymosa, nebulosa, subnata, and neogama.
Field Guide Descriptions: Covell (1984); Beadle and Leckie (2012)Online Photographs: MPG, BugGuide, iNaturalist, Google, BAMONA, GBIF                                                                                 
Wingspan: 60-70 mm (Sargent, 1976)
Adult Structural Features: As in piatrix, neogama and subnata, the fore tibiae are spined; hind metatarsi also have subdorsal spines in addition to the typical three rows of ventral spines (Forbes, 1954). More distinctive of paleogama, the underside of the thorax and base of wings are white, contrasting with the deep yellow ground color of the wings (see key in Forbes).
Adult ID Requirements: Identifiable from photos showing hindwings, abdomen, or other specialized views [e.g., frons, palps, antennae, undersides].
Distribution in North Carolina
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
Habitats and Life History
Larval Host Plants: Larvae feed on Section Carya Hickories (Wagner et al., 2011)
See also Habitat Account for General Oak-Hickory Forests
Status in North Carolina
Natural Heritage Program Status:
Natural Heritage Program Ranks: G5 S4
State Protection: Has no legal protection, although permits are required to collect it on state parks and other public lands.

 Photo Gallery for Catocala palaeogama - Oldwife Underwing

Photos: 9

Recorded by: L. M. Carlson on 2018-09-17
Orange Co.
Recorded by: Steve Hall and Bo Sullivan on 2016-08-02
Ashe Co.
Recorded by: Darryl Willis on 2013-07-23
Cabarrus Co.
Recorded by: SPH on 2011-08-31
Randolph Co.
Comment: Underside of thorax is pure white. Wingspan = 6.5 cm; forewing length = 3.4 cm.
Recorded by: Paul Scharf on 2011-08-13
Warren Co.
Recorded by: Steve Hall on 1992-10-03
Orange Co.
Recorded by: E.D. Cashett on 1961-08-20
Rockingham Co.
Comment: Specimen in the NCSU Insect Museum. Det. by A.E. Brower, 1956, and H.D. Baggett, 1986. Wingspan = 6.8 cm; forewing length = 3.4 cm.
Recorded by: C.L. Hunsucker on 1932-07-01
Wake Co.
Comment: Typical form. Specimen in the NCSU Insect Museum. Det. by A.E. Brower, 1970, and H.D. Baggett, 1986. Wingspan = 6.5 cm; forewing length = 3.2 cm.
Recorded by: Darryl Willis on 0000-00-00
Cabarrus Co.