Locust Underwing Moth – Euparthenos nubilis

I found this large (approx 4cm) moth on common milkweed flowers in the garden and it had the good nature to stay while I dashed for a camera.

Initially I thought this a Catocala (underwing) species, but try as I might – and being mentally “stuck” on that genus – I couldn’t pin it down. As you can see it has three/four black bands on the underwing and none of the Catocala spp. I could find for this area have more than three and usually only two.

I have recently been experimenting with and thought to try their community to get the ID correct. What a great tool – had it sorted in less than ten minutes. Moths are not easy and there are far too many of them 🙂

So – this is a Locust Underwing quite near the northern limit of its range.  Huge beast – and a moth lifer as well.

** To quote Wikipedia … “The adults resemble some of the underwing moths of genus Catocala, which are fairly close relatives, in color, pattern, and the habit of resting on tree trunks. But E. nubilis can usually be immediately recognized by the 4 concentric black bands per hindwing, as opposed to one or two (at most 3) in Catocala.”

That makes me feel a lot better about my identification problem.