Catocala briseis - female

Catocala briseis                Family: Erebidae
(kah-TOCK-uh-lah  bree-SAY-iss)
Common name: Briseis underwing; ribbed underwing
Host plants: Populus sp. (incl. aspen, poplar,
Salix sp. (willow)
Adult size: wingspan 2.5 – 2.75 in (6-7 cm)
Flight time: June through late August

Type: Pest

Life cycle:

            Generations per year: one

female Briseis underwingDescription: Large moth with dark mottled forewings and orange-red hindwings. Forewings are primarily a dark grey colour with some pale scale patches, in particular a whitish patch above the subreniform spot. Hindwings have two black bands across the orange-red. The median black band is variable, typically ending before the inner margin making it invisible when forewings are only slightly open.

Larva is mostly smooth skinned, grey and tan in colour with small orange-red subdorsal spots, an orange-red and black patch in the middle of the back, and a ventral fringe of whisker-like hairs below the lateral line.


Special Notes: This moth species is very similar to Catocala californica (western underwing moth) so are difficult to differentiate, particularly as they can both be found in the Pacific Northwest. Some scientists believe they represent ecotypes of the same species.


Remedial Actions: None needed with this underwing species. Not generally considered to be too much of a pest as far as I can tell from my research. However, some species of the gardener’s nemesis, the cutworm, are underwing moths in their adult form.


Posted on January 10, 2018