White Underwing Moth

January 17, 2023

DaleH_underwing_image0 (02A)

Photographer: Dale Hugo   
Summary Author: Dale Hugo    

This attractive and well camouflaged moth was photographed at Gooseberry State Park in Minnesota. It was on a lamp post at the park’s interpretive center. At first glance I thought it was a mark or flaw on the post, but upon closer inspection I realized it was a moth. It’s a white underwing moth (Catocala relicta), and apparently, they’re common from Arizona through the Mid-West and up into the Canadian prairie provinces.

It seems that these large moths, with a wingspan of 3 inches or so (7-8 cm), signal the end of summer as surely as the leaves first change color or the geese flock overhead. On warm September nights, you often see them flying around streetlights, or bright billboards. During daylight they are hard to find because they rest, motionless, on the trunks of trees, the sides of buildings or on light standards, such as above. Photo taken on September 26, 2022.


Gooseberry State Park, Minnesota Coordinates: 47.1456, -91.4654

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