The Oldwife Underwing seems drab and ordinary at rest, but when seen in flight, its bright orange hindwings get to show off in marvelous fashion.
Underwing moths hide their colors when resting by laying their wings flat. The smaller hindwings of the Oldwife Underwing are a rich orange color with irregular black bands crossing them. A light fringe decorates their edges. These wings are only visible when the wings are spread wide open, usually just when it is about to take off and fly away. The larger, less conspicuous forewings are gray with black scalloped lines that cross almost every third portion of the wing. A light brown band also crosses wings near the bottom. A dark brown spot sits at the center of each wing, and a second, paler spot lies is further down. The Oldwife Underwing bears many similarities to its close relatives like The Bride and the Youthful Underwing.
Adults can be found flying at night and near light sources in areas close to deciduous forests. They are most active from summer through early autumn. Caterpillars eat hickory and walnut tree leaves.
Scientific Name: Catocala palaeogama
Butterfly or Moth
Size (Adult; Length): 60mm to 70mm (2.34in to 2.73in)
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Butterfly and Moth Anatomy
Antennae: Butterflies and Moths have a pair of antennae on the head used as sensors.
Head: The head is home to the insect's eyes, antennae, and proboscis.
Thorax: Home to the three pairs of legs as well as vital internal organs.
Abdomen: Contains vital internal organs such as the heart(s) and reproduction facilities.
Forewing: The upper, forward wing pair used for flying.
Hindwing: The lower, rearward wing pair used for flying.
NOTE: Butterflies and Moths are part of the Lepidopteran order as they share many similarities.