Catocala dulciola
Quiet underwing

Key Characteristics

A medium-sized moth (wingspan 1.5-1.7 in. [4-4.5 cm]). The forewing is light gray with a wedge-shaped, black basal dash. The outer lines of the forewing are obscure or faint. The hindwing is yellowish orange with two wavy, black bands consisting of an outer band of located along the outer margin and an inner band located about halfway into the hindwing. The underside is pale yellow with two outer black bands on both wings, and a little fuscous (i.e., dark gray or grayish brown) in fold on forewing.

Status and Rank

  • State Status: SC
  • State Rank: S2S3
  • Global Rank: G3


County NameNumber of OccurrencesYear Last Observed
St. Joseph21996
Distribution map for Catocala dulciola

Updated 5/15/2018. Information is summarized from MNFI's database of rare species and community occurrences. Data may not reflect true distribution since much of the state has not been thoroughly surveyed.


The species is found in woodland and riverine habitats, including savanna, lowland hardwoods, mesic hardwoods, dry hardwoods and riparian or floodplain forests. The larval host plant for this species is hawthorn (Crataegus sp.). This plant is characteristic of open, disturbed sites, being shade-intolerant, and is found in old fields, pastures, open woodlands, cutover forests and along roads and streams. Thus, the Quiet underwing also can be found in idle/old fields, right-of-ways and along habitat edges.

Specific Habitat Needs

Host plant needed in Floodplain forest, Mesic southern forest, Dry-mesic southern forest, Dry southern forest, Oak openings, Oak barrens

Natural Community Types


For each species, lists of natural communities were derived from review of the nearly 6,500 element occurrences in the MNFI database, in addition to herbarium label data for some taxa. In most cases, at least one specimen record exists for each listed natural community. For certain taxa, especially poorly collected or extirpated species of prairie and savanna habitats, natural community lists were derived from inferences from collection sites and habitat preferences in immediately adjacent states (particularly Indiana and Illinois). Natural communities are not listed for those species documented only from altered or ruderal habitats in Michigan, especially for taxa that occur in a variety of habitats outside of the state.

Natural communities are not listed in order of frequency of occurrence, but are rather derived from the full set of natural communities, organized by Ecological Group. In many cases, the general habitat descriptions should provide greater clarity and direction to the surveyor. In future versions of the Rare Species Explorer, we hope to incorporate natural community fidelity ranks for each taxon.


Little is known about the status, life history and ecology of this species. Altered fire regimes and the use of herbicides and pesticides are potential threats to this species. Lack of scientific knowledge about this species is an obvious threat. Because so little is known about this species and its status, life history and ecology, specific management recommendations can not be provided at this time. The sites at which this species has been documented should be protected and managed appropriately including maintaining healthy, viable populations of the host plant, hawthorn (Crataegus sp.). Surveys and monitoring to assess the status, extent and viability of known extant populations are needed. Surveys to find additional populations and determine the status, abundance and distribution of this species in the state also are warranted.

Active Period

Flight from fourth week of June to fourth week of July

Survey Methods

The best way to survey for this species is by blacklighting, a technique where a sheet is stretched across two trees or poles and an ultraviolet light is used to attract moths to the sheet. Moths can be collected directly from the sheet. Insects come to light usually in largest numbers on still, dark, cloudy nights when both temperature and humidity are high. This species is difficult to identify in the wild. It is strongly recommended that observations of this species be verified through actual specimen vouchers or verification by a species expert.

Page Citation

Michigan Natural Features Inventory. 2007. Rare Species Explorer (Web Application). Available online at [Accessed Aug 16, 2018]


Survey References

Technical References

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