New York Natural Heritage Program
Broad-lined Catopyrrha
Erastria coloraria (Fabricius, 1798)

General Description [-]
A moderate sized (26-32 mm) partially diurnal Geometrid moth that is closely associated with New Jersey Tea in barrens and other dry, brushy places. Note that spring brood adults are much darker grayish than summer brood moths, such as shown by Covell (1984). They are still recognizable by the pink and yellow beneath and the pattern is the same and note the feathered male antennae. The yellowish summer form and gray spring form are illustrated by Holland (1903 Plate XLIII, figures 53 and 54) as different species. McGuffin (1981) has good illustrations. While the upper side varies individually and seasonally, the underside is consistently colorful.

Characters Most Useful for Identification [-]
This is a medium-sized pale or grayish geometrid moth with a distinctive yellow and pink underside. The very plain appearance above with the two diffuse but obvious lines on the forewing are also distinctive. Note that the male also has pectinate (parallel projections or divisions) antennae. While the color above varies, this moth is easily identified from pictures. Flushing a moth from New Jersey Tea (Ceanothus americanus) from May to July is an immediate clue that it may be this species.

Best Life Stage for Proper Identification [-]
The best life stage for identification is the adult stage, but larvae could be identified by an expert.

Behavior [-]
The adults can be flushed from New Jersey Tea (Ceanothus americanus) clumps or nearby in the daytime. They also are active at night and come to lights and, in the summer, to sugar baits.

Diet [-]
Larvae feed on New Jersey Tea (Ceanothus americanus) and probably other species of this genus. The feeding habits of the adults are not well know, but they occasionally nectar at these same plants.
Broad-lined Catopyrrha Images
click to enlarge
The Best Time to See
There are two broods in mid or late May to early June and much of July; a few may be present earlier in spring or later in JUne. This species overlaps with the Mottled Duskywing (Erynnis martialis) and with both broods of Karner Blue (Plebejus melissa samuelis).
Reproducing Larvae present and active Pupae or prepupae present
The time of year you would expect to find Broad-lined Catopyrrha reproducing (blue shading), larvae present and active (green shading) and pupae or prepupae present (orange shading) in New York.