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Catocala grisatraGrisatra Underwing Moth
Federal Protection: No US federal protection
State Protection: No Georgia state protection
Global Rank: G1G2
State Rank: SU
SWAP High Priority Species (SGCN): Yes
Element Occurrences (EOs) in Georgia: 2
Habitat Summary for element in Georgia: Sandhills with Hawthorns
This is an Underwing Moth with orange hindwings, as seen above. The wingspan (forewing measured from base to tip times two) is 2 (or a little more) inches. The gray forewings with the arrangement of black dashes is diagnostic for this species.
At the Fall Line Sandhills, where the pictured individual was taken, there are at least nine other species of Catocala flying in May that are similar in size and have orange hindwings. These include: Catocala connubialis, C. sordida, C. gracilis, C. similis, C. clintoni, C. micronympha, C. alabamae charlottae, C. louiseae, and C. pretiosa. C. grisatra is definitely larger than some of these (sordida, gracilis, similis, connubialis, and pretiosa), and slightly larger than the others for the most part. As indicated above, the gray forewings with the arrangement of black dashes seen here in the specimen above, however, are unique to grisatra, so, when seen side by side, this species is easily distinguishable. Worn specimens of C. grisatra tend to look darker and more uniform, as the gray scales are lost.
Sandhills and other similar habitats that have stands of Crataegus species in them.
Crataegus species (Hawthorn trees).
There is one generation a year in Georgia, with the adults flying from mid-May to early June at the Fall Line Sandhills. The type specimens from Athens were collected June 14 and June 24 (Brower, 1936).
The coastal plain from extreme southeastern North Carolina into Florida. It may be found in scattered locations, but will not be present in all locations where Crataegus occurs. There are only TWO known locations in the state of Georgia: one is the type locality in Clarke Co. (Athens; Brower, 1936), where the species was described from two 1926 specimens from Athens (and one from Florida). The other location is the Fall Line Sandhills location in Taylor Co., which is the farthest inland the species has been recorded.
Development of sandy habitats where there are big stands of Crataegus; clearing of Crataegus in an attempt to emphasize other habitat components.
Brower, A. E. 1936. Description of a new species and a new form of Catocala (Lep., Noctuidae). Bulletin of the Brooklyn Entomological Society, 31: 96-98.
James K. Adams
March 3, 2020.