New York Natural Heritage Program
Herodias or Pine Barrens Underwing
Catocala herodias gerhardi Barnes and Benjamin, 1927
Insects

General Description [-]
The adult is distinctive and can be identified from a specimen or a photograph. See any illustration, such as shown in Covell (1984). When the moth is at rest under a bush, it appears as a clump of dead pine needles on white sand. The larva are very similar to the Scarlet Underwing (Catocala coccinata).

Characters Most Useful for Identification [-]
The forewing pattern is unique and the reddish hindwing is similar to only a few species of moths. On the forewing, note the poorly developed normal lines, strongly contrasting whitish costa (leading edge), and the dark and whitish linear striations on the outer portion of the wing.

Best Life Stage for Proper Identification [-]
The adult is best for identification.

Behavior [-]
The adults rest near the base of scrub oak (Quercus ilicifolia) or other bushes or on the sand underneath these bushes. A Catocala flushed off the ground in a barrens community will almost always be this species.

Diet [-]
The larvae feed almost exclusively on spring growth of scrub oak (Quercus ilicifolia) in the wild, except that blackjack oak (Quercus marilandica) might also be used on Long Island.
Herodias or Pine Barrens Underwing Images
click to enlarge
The Best Time to See
This is one of the earlier flying Catocala. The adults occur primarily from mid-July into August, probably about the same time in all parts of the New York range, and it is likely that a few adults persist into the second half of August in most years. Catocala have notably long pupal periods, often about as long as the larval period, and pupae are present into July.
J F M A M J J A S O N D
Reproducing Larvae present and active Eggs present outside adult Pupae or prepupae present
The time of year you would expect to find Herodias or Pine Barrens Underwing reproducing (red shading), larvae present and active (blue shading), eggs present outside adult (green shading) and pupae or prepupae present (orange shading) in New York.