03.15.2015 The Sweetheart

Newly ID’d by the nice folks at BugGuide.  AKA Catocala amatrix.  I posted this on BG.N back in August of 2010 and someone found it while cleaning up during the quiet winter season and gave me an ID.

The-Sweetheart081710-700WebThis is a member of the Genus Catocala, which are known as underwings.  When the forewings are spread to reveal the hindwings, we then see a wonderfully colorful display of red and black.  I have yet to get a shot of the display.

About Steve Gingold

I am a Nature Photographer with interests in all things related. Water, flowers, insects and fungi are my main interests but I am happy to photograph wildlife and landscapes and all other of Nature's subjects.
This entry was posted in Animal Behavior, Closeup Photography, Insect Behavior, Insects, Lepidoptera, macro photography, Moths, Patterns in Nature and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

17 Responses to 03.15.2015 The Sweetheart

  1. krikitarts says:

    The glorious displays on the hindwings have been a source of frequent fascination for me, having had the pleasure of seeing quite a few at our cabin in Minnesota…the sphinxes especially come to mind. But, obviously, when not displaying to attract soulmates, they keep them undercover so they’re more likely be left in peace. In fact, use your imagination: If you look at that marking in the middle of the left wing and imagine it inverted, isn’t that a nearly-perfect outline of a hand making a classic peace sign?


    • Well, as I am answering this on my Kindle, that suggestion was a little frustrating…no matter how you turn the tablet it keeps flipping the image right side up. I do see the symbol but mostly through the power of suggestion.


  2. Jim in IA says:

    A good example of hiding in plain sight.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. shoreacres says:

    This little gem doesn’t just blend in color-wise, it even mimics the cracks in the bark. Good for you for even spotting it. And thanks for the link to that fabulous hidden color. I never would have expected that.


    • Moths are wonderful and excel at disappearing into the woodwork, so to speak. And their variety is just full of all sorts of patterns and colors…I think they definitely rival butterflies. But their numbers and subtle variations make for challenging identification. Some are easy, but the majority drive me up a wall and I am very thankful to the folks at BugGuide and a few other groups that are so helpful. And…most do not eat wool. 🙂


  4. This is an impressive example of blending in the surroundings. Steve, I’m glad you finally got an ID. And now your followers are also wiser. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Who’d have suspect such bright color hidden below such good camouflage? Indeed, when it comes to colors, the bark is worse than the bright.

    Liked by 1 person

    • In this case I do think the color is for attracting a mate, but in many others the colors or patterns are arranged in such a way as to scare off a predator or resemble something else, as in the bird dropping moths.


  6. Phil Lanoue says:

    Wow, outstanding! Really blends in too.


  7. I’m no entomologist … but as an evolutionary biologist, this one reminds me of Europe’s famous Peppered Moth (Biston betularia) of natural-selection-fame! D

    Liked by 1 person

    • I think that there could have been many choices to follow in the studies. The most frustrating part of insect, especially moth, ID is the variability within a genus and/or species which can be in response to so many factors.

      Liked by 1 person

  8. Aren’t these lovely, Steve? I can never resist photographing them when I come across them. I think the colors of an underwing are for defense~ they flash them at the last moment to surprise a predator. I believe they find each other by scent.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I think you are probably correct about the defense purpose, Melissa. But it also might be a good mate attractor…survival of the fittest or in this case loveliest. 🙂 Yes, pheromones are a big part of attracting a mate. I always tried to not shower too much for fear of washing all mine down the drain. 🙂


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