Catocala ulalume Strecker, 1878
NatureServe Global Rank: G4
Virginia State Rank: S1S3
VA DGIF Tier: None
Federal Legal Status: None
Virginia Legal Status: None
Description: The Ulalume Underwing is a large underwing with a wingspan of 60-75 mm. The forewing coloration is a mottled light to dark grey with no strongly contrasting lines, dashes or bars. At the inner margin the antemedial line ends in a very light colored crescent very close to the pm line. The open subreniform spot is also light colored and "comma" shaped with a somewhat triangular and bulbous head. The hindwing is black and the fringe is pure white with thin, pointed checkering.
Similar species: The Ulalume underwing is very similar to the Yellow-gray underwing (Catocala retecta) and the Hulst's underwing (Catocala luctuosa) but both of them are more heavily marked, especially near the apex and base of the front wings.
North American Range: It is mainly found in Missouri, Illinois, and southern Delaware to northern Florida and Texas.
VA Observations by Locality: Montgomery | Charlotte
Flight season and broods: Adults occur mostly in July and August but persist through September.
Habitat and Food Plants: Eggs overwinter. Most eggs hatch within less than a week while the foodplant foliage is expanding. Larvae occur for about five or six weeks typically maturing in June. The pupal stage is about four weeks. Adults are usually taken in xeric to mesic hardwood forests in ravines, bottomlands, sand ridges, and undoubtedly other habitats. Larvae feed on Carya alba (Mockernut Hickory) and probably other Carya species.
Behavior and Ecology: Eggs are deposited on tree bark in the fall and hatch the following spring. Adults eclose from pupae formed under leaf litter. A single generation is produced with adults on the wing from June to September.
Population trend and potential threats: The range has contracted in the past several decades.
Management practices: As far as is known, the threats are loss of habitat and possibly in the near future gypsy moth spraying or defoliation. It is unknown how sensitive larvae actually would be to BTK and sensitivity varies in this and many other genera. Survival rates in an area treated with Dimilin would be very low.
References: Moth Photographers Group at the Mississippi Entomological Museum at Mississippi State University. Web application at: http://mothphotographersgroup.msstate.edu/large_map.php?hodges=8789 Accessed: 04/13/2013
NatureServe. 2012. NatureServe Explorer: An online encyclopedia of life [web application]. Version 7.1. NatureServe, Arlington, Virginia. Available http://www.natureserve.org/explorer. (Accessed: September 3, 2012 ).
Wagner, D. L., D.F. Schweitzer, J.B. Sullivan, and R.C. Reardon. 2011. Owlet Caterpillars of Eastern North America. Princeton University Press, Princeton, NJ. 576pp.
Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation, Natural Heritage Program, 600 E. Main St., 24th Floor, Richmond, VA 23219
This atlas was compiled
by the VA Natural Heritage Program with funds provided by the VA Dept. of Game and Inland Fisheries through a state wildlife grant
from U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
Last Modified: Tuesday, 24 January 2017, 10:12:03 PM