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Oldwife Underwing (Catocala palaeogama)


Detailing the physical features, habits, territorial reach and other identifying qualities of the Oldwife Underwing.

 Updated: 9/19/2017; Authored By Staff Writer; Content ¬©www.InsectIdentification.org




The Oldwife Underwing seems drab and ordinary until seen in flight where its bright orange hindwings are exposed in a marvelous flash of color.



Underwings hide their colors when resting by laying them flat. The smaller hindwings of the Oldwife Underwing are a rich orange color with irregular black bands crossing them. A light fringe decorates the edges. These wings are only visible when the wings are spread wide, usually in the take-off position and in flight. The larger, less conspicuous forewings are gray with black scalloped lines that cross almost every third portion of the wing. A light brown band fills in some space between the bottom black line and the bottom of the wings. An large brown spot sits at the center of the wing, closer to its edge than the body. Closer to the midline, a second paler gray spot lies next to each brown one. 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 by lights in areas near deciduous forests. They are most active from summer through early autumn. Caterpillars eat hickory and walnut tree leaves.




Taxonomic Hierarchy
Kingdom: Animalia
  Phylum: Arthropoda
    Class: Insecta
      Order: Lepidoptera
        Family: Erebidae
          Genus: Catocala
            Species: palaeogama
Identifying Information
Scientific Name: Catocala palaeogama
Category: Butterfly or Moth
Size (Adult; Length): 60mm to 70mm (2.34in to 2.73in)
Colorwheel Graphic Colors: gray, black, brown, white, orange
Descriptors: marbled, spots, wavy, lines, flying, orange, bands
Territorial Map
Alaska  
Hawaii  
Prince Edward Is.  
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Territory map graphic of the country of Mexico
Contiguous United States shape map layer graphic


Territorial Reach (A-to-Z)
Alabama
Alaska
Arizona
Arkansas
California
Colorado
Connecticut
Delware
Florida
Georgia
Hawaii
Idaho
Illinois
Indiana
Iowa
Kansas
Kentucky
Louisiana
Maine
Maryland
Massachusetts
Michigan
Minnesota
Mississippi
Missouri
Montana
Nebraska
Nevada
New Hampshire
New Jersey
New Mexico
New York
North Carolina
North Dakota
Ohio
Oklahoma
Oregon
Pennsylvania
Rhode Island
South Carolina
South Dakota
Tennessee
Texas
Utah
Vermont
Virginia
Washington
West Virginia
Wisconsin
Wyoming
Canadian National Flag Graphic
Alberta
British Columbia
Manitoba
New Brunswick
Newfoundland and Labrador
Nova Scotia
Ontario
Prince Edward Island
Quebec
Saskatchewan
Mexican National Flag Graphic
Mexico
Note: An insect's reach is not limited by lines drawn on a map and therefore species may appear in areas, regions and/or states beyond those listed above as they are driven by environmental factors (such as climate change), available food supplies and mating patterns. Grayed-out selections indicate that the subject in question has not been reported in that particular territory. U.S. states and Canadian provinces / territories are clickable to their respective bug listings.




Butterfly and Moth Anatomy
Graphic showing basic anatomy of a common North American butterfly and moth insect
1
Antennae: Butterflies and Moths have a pair of antennae on the head used as sensors.
2
Head: The head is home to the insect's eyes, antennae, and proboscis.
3
Thorax: Home to the three pairs of legs as well as vital internal organs.
4
Abdomen: Contains vital internal organs such as the heart(s) and reproduction facilities.
5
Forewing: The upper, forward wing pair used for flying.
6
Hindwing: The lower, rearward wing pair used for flying.
NOTE: Butterflies and Moths are part of the Lepidopteran order as they share many similarities.