Catocala messalina male, Louisiana,
courtesy of Vernon A. Brou.
This site has been created by
Bill Oehlke at email@example.com
Comments, suggestions and/or additional information are welcomed by Bill.
Genus: Catocala, Schrank, 1802
copyright C. Odenkirk
Catocala messalina, the Messalina underwing,
(wingspan: 40-45mm) flies from Virginia south to Florida and west to
Texas and north to Kansas, mostly in evergreen oak habitats.
The forewing is a plain, dull, grey-green, darkening toward the outer
The hindwing is like that of the false underwing, having no inner black band.
The outer band is quite wide.
FLIGHT TIMES AND PREFERRED FOOD PLANTS:
Catocala messalina are on the wing in May (Texas record) and
probably June-August elsewhere.
The Catocala messalina caterpillar probably feeds on
(Quercus virginiana), sand live oak (Q. geminata), or
sand laurel oak (Q. hemisphaerica).
Quercus geminata is the most likely host in North Carolina.
Only occasionally is this species seen in Maritime Evergreen Forest.
Adults eclose from pupae at soil surface.
SCENTING AND MATING:
Catocala messalina females
emit an airbourne pheromone and males use their antennae to track the
EGGS, CATERPILLARS, COCOONS, AND PUPAE:
Eggs are deposited on
tree bark in the fall and hatch the following spring.
Larval Food Plants
Listed below are primary food plant(s) and alternate food plants.
It is hoped that this alphabetical listing followed by the common
name of the foodplant will prove useful. The list is not exhaustive,
although some species seem very host specific.
Experimenting with closely related foodplants is worthwhile.
Sand live oak
Sand laurel oak
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