Catocala umbrosa - Brou, 2003
Umber Underwing Moth
Taxonomic Status: Accepted
Unique Identifier: ELEMENT_GLOBAL.2.114192
Element Code: IILEY89B70
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: Brou, V. 2002b. Type designation of Catocala umbrosa Brou. Southern Lepidopterists News 24: 85-86.
Concept Reference Code: N02BRO02EHUS
Name Used in Concept Reference: Catocala umbrosa
Taxonomic Comments: D.Schweitzer and L. Gall have recognized this is a separate species since about 1980 and separately Vernon Brou reached the same conclusion. It was previously recognized as Catocala species 3 in this database. Brou's action of elevating the old form name to a species name for this taxon appears to be valid under the Code but it is his second article in which he designates and illustrates Types, not the first note, which meets the requirements of the Code. Brou's illustrations should permit easy identification of this almost uniquely non-variable underwing moth. There is at least one other good modern illustration (as C. ilia: Sargent, 1976, page 16, Fig. A). The larva also differs slightly from C. ilia and the phenological offset reported in Louisiana is very similar in New Jersey. D. Schweitzer.
Conservation Status
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NatureServe Status

Global Status: G5
Global Status Last Reviewed: 01May2005
Global Status Last Changed: 12Mar2003
Rounded Global Status: G5 - Secure
Reasons: Despite threats in parts of the range, and obvious significant past decline, this species is still common over a substantial part of its large range. It would be especially difficult to argue it is not secure in New Jersey where it is fairly common over >100,000 hectares of protected lands.
Nation: United States
National Status: N5 (14Mar2003)

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 Arkansas (SNR), Connecticut (SNR), Delaware (S1), Florida (SNR), Georgia (SNR), Illinois (SNR), Indiana (SNR), Kansas (SNR), Louisiana (SNR), Massachusetts (SU), Minnesota (SNR), Mississippi (SNR), Missouri (SNR), New Hampshire (SNR), New Jersey (SNR), New York (SH), North Carolina (SNR), Ohio (SNR), Oklahoma (S4?), Pennsylvania (S1), Rhode Island (SNR), South Carolina (SNR), Texas (SNR), Virginia (S3S5)

Other Statuses

NatureServe Global Conservation Status Factors

Range Extent: 200,000 to >2,500,000 square km (about 80,000 to >1,000,000 square miles)
Range Extent Comments: Eastern Massachusetts to northern Florida west to southern Louisiana (probably northeast Texas) and up the Mississippi drainage to Minnesota and Wisconsin. Not known from Indiana, Ohio, Kentucky or the western 90% of Pennsylvania. Quebec records are discounted as false, apparently the specimens were reared there from US eggs. The locality is not plausible habitat and this species does not occur anywhere near the Quebec border in the USA. If it occurs in Canada it would most likely be in southern Ontario.

Area of Occupancy: 2,501 to >12,500 4-km2 grid cells
Area of Occupancy Comments: Probably more than 300,000 acres in southern New Jersey alone, but that could be its stronghold.

Number of Occurrences: > 300

Population Size: 100,000 to >1,000,000 individuals

Number of Occurrences with Good Viability/Integrity: Many to very many (41 to >125)

Overall Threat Impact: High
Overall Threat Impact Comments: Much habitat in the southeast is highly vulnerable and this is the core of the range. The only major portion of the range where this is essentially unthreatened may be southern New Jersey. Farther north and in the upper Midwest occurences tend to be on protected lands but this is a small portion of the range. Could become largely restricted to state parks and national forest in Florida especially. Still it is not imminently imperiled in any state except Pennsylvania where it is probably confined to a single small barren.

Short-term Trend: Decline of <30% to relatively stable
Short-term Trend Comments: Loosing habitat to pine farms and development in some parts of range.

Long-term Trend: Decline of 30-50%
Long-term Trend Comments: Has lost pine barrens and especially almost all oak savanna habitat northward and continues to loose habitat in in the Southeast as xeric pine-oak woodlands are developed or (worse) converted to pine farms.

Environmental Specificity: Moderate. Generalist or community with some key requirements scarce.
Environmental Specificity Comments: Highly specialized in north to sandy pine barrens and oak savannas, less so in New Jersey and southward, but everywhere largely dependent on xeric, usually sandy (but on serpentine rock in Pennsylvania), oak woodland or forests.

Other NatureServe Conservation Status Information

Inventory Needs: Would be worth watching for in the Port Franks-Pinery area of Ontario although much habitat there has been destroyed by deer.

Distribution
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Global Range: (200,000 to >2,500,000 square km (about 80,000 to >1,000,000 square miles)) Eastern Massachusetts to northern Florida west to southern Louisiana (probably northeast Texas) and up the Mississippi drainage to Minnesota and Wisconsin. Not known from Indiana, Ohio, Kentucky or the western 90% of Pennsylvania. Quebec records are discounted as false, apparently the specimens were reared there from US eggs. The locality is not plausible habitat and this species does not occur anywhere near the Quebec border in the USA. If it occurs in Canada it would most likely be in southern Ontario.

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 AR, CT, DE, FL, GA, IL, IN, KS, LA, MA, MN, MO, MS, NC, NH, NJ, NY, OH, OK, PA, RI, SC, TX, VA

Range Map
No map available.


U.S. Distribution by County Help
State County Name (FIPS Code)
PA Chester (42029)
* Extirpated/possibly extirpated
U.S. Distribution by Watershed Help
Watershed Region Help Watershed Name (Watershed Code)
02 Lower Susquehanna (02050306)+
+ Natural heritage record(s) exist for this watershed
* Extirpated/possibly extirpated
Ecology & Life History
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Non-Migrant: N
Locally Migrant: N
Long Distance Migrant: N
Economic Attributes Not yet assessed
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Management Summary
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Biological Research Needs: Accurate information on actual species of oaks utilized would be useful in most of the range. Larvae do not accept any species of oak.
Population/Occurrence Delineation
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Group Name: Catocala Moths: Localized Oak Feeders

Use Class: Not applicable
Minimum Criteria for an Occurrence: A forest or other appropriate habitat or cluster of such habitats where the species occurs, or recently has occurred, with sufficient suitab le foodplant oaks and other resources for persistence or regular recurrence. Minimally a habitat (usually a forest) where presence has been verified by specimens or adult photographs or by larval collections if these can be positively identified or were reared to adults. Exceptionally for some taxa sight records can be accepted. Note if foodplants are growing in residential neighborhoods proximate to primary habitat, these will usually be part of the occurrence. Occasionally small occurrences can actually form on large urban or suburban live oaks.
Mapping Guidance: Generally boundaries will either be well defined limits of wooded habitats or will be totally arbitrary in extensive forest. In general even for species restricted to certain oak species, these are either dominant, co-dominant tree, or at least frequent species and so do not affect mapping. See food comments fields for more information.
Separation Barriers: Eastward probably none unless maybe extensive brightly lit urban areas. However this is not certain and some Catocala do very well in cities. Westward open arid habitats where daytime temperatures exceed 40 degrees C might be barriers if they are too wide to be crossed in one night, and high altitudes where evening temperatures fall rapidly below about 15 degrees C almost certainly are impassable.
Separation Distance for Unsuitable Habitat: 4 km
Separation Distance for Suitable Habitat: 10 km
Alternate Separation Procedure: In generally wooded terrain unsuitable habitat distance applies mainly to cleared lands. In wooded or partially wooded landscapes use the suitable habitat distance unless the foodplant oaks are completely absent or there is some other factor rendering the habitat unsuitable for adults over a gap of at least half the suitable habitat distance.
Separation Justification: There are no direct data on the mobility of the moths but the extremely rapid spread of genes for melanism in C. connubialis and micronympha over most of southern New England and eastern New York to central New Jersey into parts of Pennsylvania within 10- 20 years of the first collections of these phenotypes in northern New Jersey attests to how mobile the moths are and how open their populations must be. Occurrences are composed of generally hundreds to tens of thousands of adults, each of which typically flies every night for about three to six weeks or longer and could easily cover several kilometers an hour. However these species are rarely taken more than a few hundred meters from wooded or at least shaded places, with oaks. Most of them tend to rest on oaks as well. They apparently move very freely within forests etc. but less so between them unless connected by marginal habitats like shaded residential areas with numerous oaks.

Occurrences are normally several to many square kilometers sometimes hundreds of square kilometers. While some of the species can be inexplicably absent over substantial areas, e.g. C. connubialis from most of Connecticut, there is almost no chance two collections only 10 km apart across suitable or marginal habitats could be separate occurrences, and the same would be defensible at 100 km. Most of the species in fact are ubiquitous over vast areas of contiguous forest where such occurs. Still some practical distance is needed. The four km distance might be too large considering how rarely these species are seen out of habitat, but the rapid spread of novel phenotypes in at least two suggests they must at times leave suitable habitats at night. Also noteworthy is that C. connubialis is fairly widespread in the central New Jersey and Pennsylvania piedmont south to the northern fringe of the Pinelands almost exclusively as the two recently evolved gray and black forms. The species is absent from much of the Pinelands and exceedingly urbanized areas to the west, then reappears less than 100 km to the south as a mix of gray and the original white forms. The gray form seems to drop out south of New Jersey but the white forms range well into Florida. This implies very limited gene flow across unsuitable areas.

Use the shorter distance only across totally unsuitable largely treeless terrain such as croplands, paved areas, or new developments. Use 10 km over marginal habitats such as forests with a few suitable oaks or shaded suburban areas where there are some oaks as well as over good habitat. Westward the shorter distance is presumed appropriate over unforested habitats quite devoid of appropriate oaks.

Inferred Minimum Extent of Habitat Use (when actual extent is unknown): 2 km
Inferred Minimum Extent Justification: For most species larger values would be appropriate, but for some such as connubialis and in some regions sp. 1 populations can be more localized than is easily explainable based on habitat. Still most occurrences are clearly several kilometers in at least one dimension. Inferred extent to be conservative is all apparent habitat within 2 kilometer radius. Almost always additional sampling should extend such boundaries. With forest remnants less than 100 hectares assume full occupancy.
Date: 04Oct2005
Author: Schweitzer, Dale 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: 01May2005
NatureServe Conservation Status Factors Author: 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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  • Brou, V. 2002b. Type designation of Catocala umbrosa Brou. Southern Lepidopterists News 24: 85-86.

  • Brou, V. A. 2002a. Catocala [sic] ilia (Cramer) and form umbrosa in Louisiana. Southern Lepidopterists News 24:48-50.

  • Gall, L.F. 1984. The evolutionary ecology of a species-rich sympatic array of Catocala moths. Ph.D. dissertation, Yale University.

  • Gall, L.F. 1991a. Evolutionary ecology of sympatric Catocala moths (Lepidoptera: Noctuidae). I. Experiments on larval foodplant specificity. Journal of Research on the Lepidoptera. 29(3): 173-194.

  • Gall, L.F. 1991b. Evolutionary ecology of sympatric Catocala moths (Lepidoptera: Noctuidae). II. Sampling for wild larvae on their foodplants. Journal of Research on the Lepidoptera. 29(3):195-216.

  • 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, L.F., J.W. Peacock and J. Slotten. 2002. Life history and immature stages of Catocala atocala (Noctuidae). Journal of the Lepidopterists Society 56:1-4.

  • 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.

  • 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.

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

  • Schweitzer, D.F. 1982. Field observations of foodplant overlap among sympatric Catocala feeding on Juglandaceae. Journal of the Lepidopterists' Society 36(4): 256-263.

  • Schweitzer, Dale F. 1991. The hickory feeding Catocala (Lepidoptera:Noctuidae) fauna in the absence of Carya ovata in southern New Jersey. Ent. News 102(4):165-172.

  • Schweitzer, Dale F. 1998. Rare, potentially rare, and historic macrolepidoptera for Long Island, New York: A suggested inventory list.

  • 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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