Catocala dulciola - Grote, 1881
Quiet or Sweet Underwing
Taxonomic Status: Accepted
Unique Identifier: ELEMENT_GLOBAL.2.120033
Element Code: IILEY89A40
Informal Taxonomy: Animals, Invertebrates - Insects - Butterflies and Moths - Underwing Moths
 
Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family Genus
Animalia Mandibulata Insecta Lepidoptera Erebidae Catocala
Genus Size: D - Medium to large genus (21+ species)
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Concept Reference
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Concept Reference: Gall, L.F. and D.C. Hawks. 2010. Systematics of moths in the genus Catocala (Lepidoptera, Erebidae) IV. Nomenclatorial stabilization of the Nearctic fauna, with a revised synonymic check list. In: Schmidt B.C, Lafontaine J.D (Eds). Contributions to the systematics of New World macro-moths II. ZooKeys 39:37-83.
Concept Reference Code: A10GAL01EHUS
Name Used in Concept Reference: Catocala dulciola
Conservation Status
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NatureServe Status

Global Status: G3
Global Status Last Reviewed: 28Nov2006
Global Status Last Changed: 19Sep1999
Rounded Global Status: G3 - Vulnerable
Reasons: Rare overall, few known collection sites. Pre-1950 collections in New York and Pennsylvania could result from introduction as eggs on introduced Crataegus or may indicate a large range contraction eastward as well as apparently northwestward. Very local and remarkably few records for such a popular group. Serious threats: entire range is or soon will be invaded by gypsy moths which will probably trigger the usual spraying for several years or longer. Very likely some populations will be eradicated by this spraying and some probably already have been in West Virginia. It is not known whether this species would be sensitive to BTK applications or not. L. F. Gall was consulted and suggests G3 rank also.
Nation: United States
National Status: NNR

U.S. & Canada State/Province Status
Due to latency between updates made in state, provincial or other NatureServe Network databases and when they appear on NatureServe Explorer, for state or provincial information you may wish to contact the data steward in your jurisdiction to obtain the most current data. Please refer to our Distribution Data Sources to find contact information for your jurisdiction.
United States Illinois (SNR), Indiana (SNR), Kentucky (S1S2), Michigan (S2S3), Missouri (SNR), New York (SH), North Carolina (S2S3), Ohio (SNR), Pennsylvania (SH), Virginia (S1S3), West Virginia (SU)

Other Statuses

NatureServe Global Conservation Status Factors

Range Extent: 20,000-2,500,000 square km (about 8000-1,000,000 square miles)
Range Extent Comments: Moderate range, evidently very local. All recent records from southern Missouri east and north to southern Michigan, southern Ohio, West Virginia and southwestern Virginia; historically, also northeast Pennsylvania, northeast New York, and along the Mississippi River in Illinois. This is based on maps provided by L.F. Gall based on essentially all known specimens.

Area of Occupancy: Unknown 4-km2 grid cells
Area of Occupancy Comments:  

Number of Occurrences: 21 - 300
Number of Occurrences Comments: Apparently very local and sporadic. According to unpublished county level maps from L.F. Gall, the only states with more than two post-1950 localities are Missouri, Ohio and West Virginia with four or five each. It is not known how many of these are still extant especially in West Virginia where most were in the northeast counties which had extensive gypsy moth spraying in the 1980s and 1990s. With the ecology of the species poorly understood, it is likely most occurrences are undocumented. About 18 counties have post-1950 records and seven others have older records.

Population Size: 2500 - 100,000 individuals
Population Size Comments: Very rare in collections, but sometimes not rare locally in the field. Usually scarce, or at least hard to collect. This is one of the rarest species of this rather well-known genus.

Number of Occurrences with Good Viability/Integrity: Unknown

Overall Threat Impact: Medium
Overall Threat Impact Comments: Diffficult to assess. Small EOs will probably succumb quickly to future spraying at least with Dimilin. Large EOs may also be at serious risk - certainly so from Dimilin. However, sensitivity to BTK is unknown and varies from slight to very high in this genus (Peacock et al., 1998). Survival will depend on colonization ability in some places. Collecting perhaps a problem locally in Michigan (Bess, pers. comm. 1994), but this would seem somewhat unlikely for a Catocala.

Short-term Trend: Relatively Stable (<=10% change)

Long-term Trend: Decline of 30-70%
Long-term Trend Comments: The species has apparently always been rare (Bess, pers. comm. 1994; Sargent, 1976; Covell, 1984). However pre-1950 reords suggest a larger range at least in Illinois and much farther east than now.

Intrinsic Vulnerability Comments: Probably not fragile in extensive, unsprayed areas with well-distributed Crataegus patches.

Environmental Specificity Comments: Can persist in a few acres of good habitat.

Other NatureServe Conservation Status Information

Inventory Needs: Need to locate more EOs in order to refine GRANK and to allow protection of some. Encourage local Lepidopterists to look for this species on protected lands.

Protection Needs: Identify some good EOs in several states and protect A-C ranked occurrences from spraying.

Distribution
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Global Range: (20,000-2,500,000 square km (about 8000-1,000,000 square miles)) Moderate range, evidently very local. All recent records from southern Missouri east and north to southern Michigan, southern Ohio, West Virginia and southwestern Virginia; historically, also northeast Pennsylvania, northeast New York, and along the Mississippi River in Illinois. This is based on maps provided by L.F. Gall based on essentially all known specimens.

U.S. States and Canadian Provinces

Due to latency between updates made in state, provincial or other NatureServe Network databases and when they appear on NatureServe Explorer, for state or provincial information you may wish to contact the data steward in your jurisdiction to obtain the most current data. Please refer to our Distribution Data Sources to find contact information for your jurisdiction.
Color legend for Distribution Map
Endemism: endemic to a single nation

U.S. & Canada State/Province Distribution
United States IL, IN, KY, MI, MO, NC, NY, OH, PA, VA, WV

Range Map
No map available.


U.S. Distribution by County Help
State County Name (FIPS Code)
MI Cass (26027), Kalamazoo (26077)*, St. Joseph (26149)*
NC Alleghany (37005)*, Ashe (37009)
VA Montgomery (51121), Rockingham (51165)
WV Greenbrier (54025)*, Monroe (54063)*
* Extirpated/possibly extirpated
U.S. Distribution by Watershed Help
Watershed Region Help Watershed Name (Watershed Code)
02 South Fork Shenandoah (02070005)+, North Fork Shenandoah (02070006)+*, Upper James (02080201)+
04 St. Joseph (04050001)+, Kalamazoo (04050003)+*
05 Upper New (05050001)+, Greenbrier (05050003)+*
+ Natural heritage record(s) exist for this watershed
* Extirpated/possibly extirpated
Ecology & Life History
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Basic Description: Quiet underwing moth.
Diagnostic Characteristics: See Field Guide or Sargent (1976)
Non-Migrant: N
Locally Migrant: N
Long Distance Migrant: N
Terrestrial Habitat(s): Forest - Hardwood, Woodland - Hardwood
Habitat Comments: No special habitat needs are known. Adults are usually found in or near woods, with substantial populations of hawthorns. Probably essentially a forest species. Some occurrences could be associated with hawthorns growing in edges, openings, or artificial wooded habitats rather than forest proper. This species does not appear to be associated with riparian swamp hawthorn species, and so far has not been found regulalry in suburban yards where several related species do well on ornamentals such as hawthorns and crabapples.. Populations can occur in small midwestern woodlots of only a few acres if hawthorns are abundant.
Immature Food Habits: Herbivore
Food Comments: Larva feeds on new spring growth of hawthorn. It is possibly is restricted in nature primarily to Crataegus phaenopyrum, but this should not be assumed for now and in most cases hawthorns larvae were found on were not identified to species. John Peacock has beaten one larva off Prunus americana.
Adult Phenology: Nocturnal
Immature Phenology: Nocturnal
Phenology Comments: Adults are among the first of the genus to appear, sometime in about mid June to early July depending on latitude. The flight period is probably less than a month in any given year. Eggs laid in the bark of the foodplant hatch the following spring. From egg hatch to adult eclosion probably takes about seven or eight weeks in nature (less indoors).
Economic Attributes Not yet assessed
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Management Summary
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Stewardship Overview: The entire range of this underwing will soon be invaded by the Gypsy Moth. Gypsy Moth spraying is a serious potential threat at least in small fragmented habitats, such as midwestern woodlots. Since the larvae mature before defoliation is likely, there is very little chance that they would starve during Gypsy Moth outbreaks, but they would probably be mid- or late instars during BTK applications which makes their mortality unpredictable. Deer will also probably prove to be a threat in some places, especially if the foodplants are growing in forest understories or edges. At least in southern New Jersey deer can severely browse hawthorns repeatedly in the same season even at moderate densities (D. schweitzer). Prescribed burning does not seem like a potential issue with habitats of this species, but no stage has any protection from fires and the foodplants (hawthorns and occasionally wild plums) would require several seasons to reach sufficient size for ovipositing females to use them.

Biological Research Needs: Need to know full range of Crataegus spp. used. This would greatly facilitate inventory. Also need to determine if there are other habitat requirements besides foodplant. Would be very useful learn if this species is sensitive to Btk spraying.
Population/Occurrence Delineation
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Group Name: Catocala Moths: most Rosaceae and Ericaceae feeders

Use Class: Not applicable
Minimum Criteria for an Occurrence: A location where the species occurs, or has recently occurred, with potential for persistence or regular recurrence. Minimally a suitable habitat with larval foodplant where the species has been documented by a specimen or positively identifiable photograph of an adult and for some species larvae are also identifiable.
Mapping Guidance: Occasionally, especially with species feeding on Aronia, the habitat may be very clear, for example around the edges of a Midwestern bog or a palustrine forest in New Jersey. Adults of most of these species wander some distance from foodplants in forests, especially swamp species seem to often move into immediately adjacent upland forsts probably to feed. In such cases use the habitat where the foodplant occurs plus 100 meter wooded buffer (if available) as the EO.
Separation Barriers: None known or suspected
Separation Distance for Unsuitable Habitat: 2 km
Separation Distance for Suitable Habitat: 10 km
Alternate Separation Procedure: These species often occur in well defined natural communities such as bogs, riparian forests, barrens or savannas on a generally wooded landscape. In such cases apply the suitable habitat distance across suboptimal wooded or brushy habitat if the larval foodplant is not completely absent over distances of > half the suitable habitat distance, except if the habitat is demonstrably unsuitable in some way for the adults. Females of this group do move around and both sexes rest in the woods even if the breeding habitat is open.
Separation Justification: There are no data on movements of these moths but in general the adults occur ubiquitously within the habitat where the foodplants grow but are seldom found more than a few hundred meters from it. When the breeding habitat is swamp forest adults may move slightly into surrounding drier forests at night apparently to feed. When the habitats is suburban yards adults often occur in adjacent woods, which probably offer better daytime resting areas, even when the foodplant does not. The same is probably true when the foodplants are growing mostly in successional old fields or pastures. However these moths are often localized and do seem to stay in the vicinity of the larval foodplants or at least in nearby woods. Dale Schweitzer knowns of no instance where any of these species has been taken as much as two kilometers out of habitat, although they commonly occur in marginal habitats. He lives about 3km from high quality occupied habitat and half a km from marginal habitat for several of these species and baits almost nightly in season. He does occasionally get C. gracilis and has had one pretiosa in 16 seasons, but andromedae (most common member of the group) and praeclara never. Obviously adults are not venturing out of their habitat. On the other hand C. grynea which had been about one per decade became common two years after the town planted numerous ornamental curbside crabapples, a preferred foodplant. Note though if the habitat is wooded and merely has a lower (but not zero) density of foodplant than adjacent areas it is still suitable for the adults. As with almost all CATOCALA, general experience is that populations do occupy available contiguous habitat even where it is extensive, and in the core of theri ranges some of thses species typically occur in tracts of more than 500 hectares. Aadults move widely within habitat at night even if they concentrate in local areas in the daytime. There is little chance two collections 10 kilometers apart within contiguous suitable (usually wooded) habitat would represent two occurrences and adults would almost certainly be readily found thoughout at varying densities in good years, but some practical arbitrary separation distance is needed when data are not available.
Inferred Minimum Extent of Habitat Use (when actual extent is unknown): 2 km
Inferred Minimum Extent Justification: Habits for populations in suburban residential areas are hard to define, but otherwise the smallest habitat known to Schweitzer to have supported a fully contained occurrence of any of these species was about 1.0 square miles for C. gracilis in Pennsylvania. However habitat patches are often much smaller but clustered a few hundred meters or less apart in mostly wooded context obviously forming metapopulations. A few isolated bog occurrences, eg. in Ohio, might be smaller but the habitat in such cases includes the surrounding woods, not just the bog. When the habitat is under 1000 hectares assume full occupancy. Occurrences can be virtually undefinable in extensive forests that go for hundreds of kilometers in which the foodplant is sparsely scattered throughout--for example in northern New England with C. c. crataegi or C.blandula utilizing naturalized apple trees and C. gracilis and C. andromedae in many acid soil regions. So some arbitrary limit is need and 2 kilometers seems reasonable when data are lacking. However, if contiguous habitat is more extensive, in reality so is the occurrence for the Catocala. Anything smaller than 2km would be assuming a truly miniscule, if not insufficient, habitat for this group . Another consideration in recommending this relatively small distance is that usually one does not have good information on the extent of the foodplant, and often it is limited.
Date: 14Oct2005
Author: Schweitzer, D.F.
Population/Occurrence Viability
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U.S. Invasive Species Impact Rank (I-Rank) Not yet assessed
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Authors/Contributors
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NatureServe Conservation Status Factors Edition Date: 29Sep2004
NatureServe Conservation Status Factors Author: Whittaker, J.C. 1994; Schweitzer, Dale F. subsequent versions
Management Information Edition Date: 21Mar2007
Management Information Edition Author: Schweitzer, D.F.
Element Ecology & Life History Edition Date: 15Mar2007
Element Ecology & Life History Author(s): SCHWEITZER, D.F.

Zoological data developed by NatureServe and its network of natural heritage programs (see Local Programs) and other contributors and cooperators (see Sources).

References
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  • Covell, C. V., Jr. 1999. The butterflies and moths (Lepidoptera) of Kentucky: An annotated checklist. Kentucky State Nature Preserves Commission, Scientific and Technical Series Number 6, Frankfort, Kentucky. 220 pp.

  • Covell, C.V., Jr. 1984. A field guide to the moths of eastern North America. Houghton Mifflin Co. Boston, MA. 496 pp.

  • Covell, Charles V. 1984. A field guide to the moths of eastern North America. Houghton Mifflin Company, Boston.

  • Forbes, William T. M. 1954. Lepidoptera of New York and neighboring states part III. Cornell University Experiment Station Memoir 329.

  • Gall, L.F. and D.C. Hawks. 2002. Systematics of moths in the genus Catocala (Noctuidae). III. The types of William H. Edwards, Augustus R. Grote, and Achille Guenée. Journal of The Lepidopterists' Society 56(4): 234-264.

  • Gall, L.F. and D.C. Hawks. 2010. Systematics of moths in the genus Catocala (Lepidoptera, Erebidae) IV. Nomenclatorial stabilization of the Nearctic fauna, with a revised synonymic check list. In: Schmidt B.C, Lafontaine J.D (Eds). Contributions to the systematics of New World macro-moths II. ZooKeys 39:37-83.

  • Gall, Lawrence, F. Database containing county level data for the North American species of Catocala moths. Entomology Division, Peabody Museum, Yale University, New Haven, Connecticut 06511. Accessed 1994, July 1.

  • Hall, S.P.; J.B. Sullivan; P. Backstrom; J.M. Lynch; and T. Howard. ?The Moths of North Carolina Website.? Hosted by the North Carolina Biodiversity Project and the North Carolina Division of Parks and Recreation. (2018). <dpr.ncparks.gov/moths/index.php>

  • Lafontaine, J.D. and B. C. Schmidt. 2010. Annotated check list of the Noctuoidea (Insecta, Lepidoptera) of North America north of Mexico. ZooKeys 40:1-239.

  • Peacock, J. W., D. F. Schweitzer, J. L. Carter, and N. R. Dubois. 1998. Laboratory Assessment of the effects of Bacillus thuringiensis on native Lepidoptera. Environmental Entomology 27(2):450-457.

  • Rings, R. W., E. H. Metzler, F. J. Arnold, and D. H. Harris. 1992. The Owlet Moths of Ohio (Order Lepidoptera, family Noctuidae). Ohio Biol. Surv. Bull. New Series, Vol. 9, no. 2, vi. + 219 pp., 16 color plates.

  • Sargent, T. D. 1976. Legion of Night: The Underwing Moths. University of Massachusetts Press, Amherst, MA. 222 pp. and 8 plates.

  • Schweitzer, D. F., M. C. Minno, and D. L. Wagner. 2011. Rare, declining, and poorly known butterflies and moths (Lepidoptera) of forests and woodlands in the eastern United States. USFS Forest Health Technology Enterprise Team, Technology Transfer Bulletin FHTET-2011-01. 517 pp.

  • Schweitzer, Dale F. 2004. Gypsy Moth (Lymantria dispar): impacts and options for biodiversity-oriented land managers. NatureServe, Arlington, Virginia. NatureServe Explorer. Online. Available: http://www.natureserve.org/explorer/

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