Moths of North Carolina
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View PDFErebidae Members: 30 NC Records

Catocala umbrosa Brou, 2003 - Umber Underwing


Taxonomy
Superfamily: Noctuoidea Family: ErebidaeSubfamily: ErebinaeTribe: CatocaliniP3 Number: 930793.00 MONA Number: 8801.10
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.
Species Status: Described as full species by Brou (2002a). Previously, it had been treated as a form of Catocala ilia.
Identification
Field Guide Descriptions: Online Photographs: MPG, BugGuide, iNaturalist, Google, BAMONATechnical Description, Adults: Brou (2002a,b)Technical Description, Immature Stages: Wagner et al. (2011)                                                                                 
Adult Markings: The pattern is very similar to that of Catocala ilia, with both species showing a fairly wide range of variation (see Brou, 2002a). C. umbrosa is generally brown to brownish gray, whereas C. ilia ranges from dark blackish-gray to a somewhat lighter blue-gray. Umbrosa generally shows less contrast between its ground color and markings. In particular, the border and/or filling of the reniform spot is usually a much bolder white in ilia but much less conspicuous in brumosa. In examining North Carolina specimens (S. Hall, pers. obs.), the antemedian line in brumosa appears to be more excurved and more unudulating, especially towards the inner margin; in ilia, the antemedian usually runs straighter across the wing and is usually much more heavily marked. The basal area in ilia is also usually much darker than the median area, whereas the two areas are more concolorous in brumosa.
Adult Structural Features: In males, the end of the valves is more truncated and process of the sacculus is shorter than in Catocala ilia (see Brou, 2002a, for a description and illustrations). Differences in the female genitalia have not been described.
Structural photos
Adult ID Requirements: Identifiable from good quality photos of unworn specimens.
Immatures and Development: Wagner et al. (2011) illustrate a larva and note that it is paler than is typical for C. ilia but probably not always separable.
Larvae ID Requirements: Identifiable only through rearing to adulthood.
Distribution in North Carolina
Distribution: We have records from all provinces of the state
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, with records from late May to late July
Habitats and Life History
Habitats: Most of our records come from dry-to-xeric oak-hickory woodlands, including Coastal Fringe Sandhills and Maritime Scrub, corresponding with associations observed elsewhere (Wagner et al., 2011). However, we have at least some records (one confirmed by dissection) from wet-to-mesic stands, including the floodplain of the lower Roanoke River.
Larval Host Plants: Probably stenophagous, feeding on Oaks (Quercus spp.). Wagner et al. (2011) state that it is associated with Bear Oak (Q. ilicifolia) in the Northeast, but we have no records from the few Bear-Oak sites that occur in North Carolina.
Observation Methods: All of our records come from blacklight sampling or from direct observations during the day (e.g., through "tapping"). Like other Underwings, including C. ilia, it probably comes well to bait.
Wikipedia
See also Habitat Account for General Oak-Hickory Forests
Status in North Carolina
Natural Heritage Program Status:
Natural Heritage Program Ranks: G5 [SU]
State Protection: Has no legal protection, although permits are required to collect it on state parks and other public lands.
Comments: Our records are too sparse to determine its status in North Carolina. More needs to be learned about its host plant and habitat associations in North Carolina before an accurate assessment can be made about its conservation needs. More determinations also need to be made via dissection to clearly eliminate possible confusion with Catocala ilia.

 Photo Gallery for Catocala umbrosa - Umber Underwing

Photos: 24

Recorded by: Stephen Hall on 2021-09-14
Ashe Co.
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Recorded by: Dean Furbish on 2021-07-04
Wake Co.
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Recorded by: Jim Petranka, Bo Sullivan and Steve Hall on 2021-06-08
Scotland Co.
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Recorded by: Jim Petranka and Becky Elkin on 2020-08-20
Madison Co.
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Recorded by: Stephen Hall on 2020-07-28
Orange Co.
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Recorded by: Stephen Hall on 2020-07-28
Orange Co.
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Recorded by: Steve Hall on 2020-07-27
Orange Co.
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Recorded by: Owen McConnell on 2020-07-11
Durham Co.
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Recorded by: J. Mickey on 2020-06-29
Wilkes Co.
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Recorded by: Stephen Hall on 2020-06-18
Orange Co.
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Recorded by: Owen McConnell on 2020-06-10
Durham Co.
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Recorded by: Stephen Hall on 2019-06-26
Orange Co.
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Recorded by: Jim Petranka and Becky Elkin on 2019-06-17
Madison Co.
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Recorded by: Jim Petranka and Becky Elkin on 2019-06-17
Madison Co.
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Recorded by: Owen and Pat McConnell on 2018-06-15
Durham Co.
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Recorded by: Ed Corey, Jesse Anderson on 2016-06-24
Washington Co.
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Recorded by: SPH on 2010-06-04
Montgomery Co.
Comment: Found in a bottomland area but located just below a dry Uwharrie ridge supporting Piedmont Longleaf Pine Forest.
Recorded by: Paul Hart on 2009-06-23
Harnett Co.
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Recorded by: Paul Hart on 2009-06-23
Harnett Co.
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Recorded by: Darryl Willis on 2008-07-13
Cabarrus Co.
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Recorded by: Steve Hall on 2008-06-29
Bladen Co.
Comment: Observed in a stand of Dry-Mesic Hardwood Forest but where Longleaf Pine habitats would once have been present but lost due to timbering and fire suppression.
Recorded by: SPH on 2001-05-30
Hoke Co.
Comment: Wingspan = 7.8 cm; forewing length = 3.7 cm. Collected in Sandhill Streamhead Swamp Forest but in an area surrounded by xeric sandhills.
Recorded by: SPH on 1996-06-24
Martin Co.
Comment: Male. Species identity confirmed by dissection. Forewing length = 3.7 cm. Collected in a stand of Dry-Mesic Oak Hickory Forest growing on a low ridge located within the Roanoke River floodplain; completely surrounded by cypress-tupelo swamps and wet hardwood forests. No areas of Dry Oak-Hickory Forests are located within several miles of this site.
Recorded by: SPH on 1993-06-22
Dare Co.
Comment: Determined by D.F. Schweitzer. Wingspan = 7.9 cm; forewing length = 3.8 cm. Collected in xeric maritime scrub habitat.