Herman Strecker (1874), Text accompanying Plate IX.

with a "few words" on nomenclature.


Trans. Am. Ent. Soc., Vol. IV., p. 20, (1872).

(PLATE IX, FIG. 1, male.)

Expands 2-1/2 inches.

Head and thorax, above, whitish grey; abdomen blackish.

Beneath, thorax white, abdomen white, powdered with grey atoms.

Upper surface; primaries whitish grey; transverse shades very faint; transverse lines narrow anti black; reniform ordinary size; sub-reniform open.

Secondaries black, greyish at base; fringes white.

Under surface; primaries black; a small white basal patch; a narrow white, sub-terminal band which becomes almost obsolete towards the interior margin; a white median band extending from costa to half way between the latter and interior margin.

Secondaries, basal third white, rest black with a narrow white mesial band. Fringes on all wings white.

Habitat. New England, Middle and Western States to the Mississippi.

Somewhat rare, and distinguishable from all other black-winged species by the peculiar pale frosted appearance of the upper surface of primaries.


Trans. Am. Ent. Soc., Vol. IV, p. 4, (1872).

(PLATE IX, FIG. 2, male.)

Expands 2-5/8 inches.

Head and thorax, above, grey; abdomen blackish grey. Beneath white.

Upper surface; primaries light grey, transverse lines black and distinct; reniform surrounded by a double line; black sub-apical dash; two other black dashes, one crossing the transverse anterior line, and the other the transverse posterior line, towards the interior margin.

Secondaries black, with broad white fringes.

Under surface nearly the same as in C. Desperata, to which this species, though smaller, is closely allied.

Habitat. New England, Middle, and doubtless other of the United States.

Compared with C. Desperata and C. Flebilis, it differs in the ground colour of primaries, being brighter and of a less bluish east; the black shades sharper, not so spread or suffused; and in the greater depth of the white fringe of secondaries.

It is a rare species, and has generally, heretofore, been confounded with C. Desperata.


Trans. Am. Ent. Soc., Vol. IV, p. 4, (1872).

(PLATE IX, FIG. 3, male, 4, variety male.)

Expands 2-5/8 inches.

Head and thorax, above, grey; abdomen blackish. Beneath white.

Upper surface; primaries bluish grey; transverse lines black and well defined; reniform brown and not very distinct; sub-reniform open; the sub- apical dash is continued directly across the whole length of the wing to its base.

Secondaries black, with white fringe.

Under surface; primaries black; a small white basal patch, a white spot or space in cell, and a very narrow, half obsolete, white sub-marginal band.

Secondaries white; a broad black marginal and narrower mesial band, the white space between these two is very narrow.

Found in same localities as C. Desperata, but by no means as common. FIG. 4 is a variety, occasionally occurring, in which the broad central longitudinal dash is broken in the middle at the reniform and sub- reniform.

For the original of this figure (4) I am indebted to friend Angus, of West Farms, N.Y., who captured near that village, at various times, examples of this variety, and to whose goodness I have been again and again indebted for valuable additions to my cabinet, as well as many other acts of kindness.


(PLATE IX, FIG. 5, female.)

Expands 3 inches.

Head and thorax, above, dark brown, with scattered white or grey scales; abdomen brown. Beneath light brownish grey.

Upper surface; primaries dark brown frosted and intermixed with white and grey; a white space adjoining the reniform inwardly; reniform indistinct; sub-reniform very small, white, surrounded with black, and entirely disconnected with the transverse posterior line.

Secondaries crimson, with brownish hair at the base; median band rather narrow and regular, and continued to within a short distance of the abdominal margin, where it turns upwards and is lost in the brownish hair that clothes that part.

Under surface; primaries crossed by three black bands, none of which join or merge with each other; the spaces between the base and sub- basal band, and between the latter and the median band, are orange col- oured inclining a little to crimson at the interior margin; the space between the median an:l marginal bands is white; fringe white, with black at terminations of the veins.

Secondaries; inner two-thirds crimson, a little paler than on upper side, rest white; marginal band tinged with grey at and near the costa; median band terminates about one line from abdominal margin; slight indications of a discal crescent connecting with the median band; fringe white.

Habitat. California.

The above description and accompanying figure were taken from the single female example contained in the collection of Mr. James Behrens, of San Francisco, to whose practical and extended labors in Entomology we are indebted for our knowledge of many of the Pacific species, and who, in order to enable me to present the species, had the almost unprecedented generosity to rob his own fine cabinet of the only example it contained of this insect. He says, in reference to it, that "it is a frequenter of the deepest, darkest gulches and glens of the higher mountains of California," and further, that it flies in July and August, and was the wildest animal he ever saw.

This species closely resembles C. Sponsa* and its ally, C. Dilecta§; the primaries, on upper surface, have a striking similarity, especially to Sponsa, and the ground colour of secondaries is the same, but there the resemblance ceases; the black bands of secondaries are different, and in the under surface of primaries of the two European species the black bands are broader, and the sub-basal and median at the inner half of the wing are connected, and the median and marginal are almost confluent at and towards the interior margin, and the narrow spaces between all these bands are entirely white. In the secondaries the crimson extends much nearer to the costa, and there is a large black discal lune or spot. I have been thus particular in my descriptive remarks of the above analogous European species, inasmuch as, no matter how careful a drawing be made, the student does-not of course feel that certainty whilst comparing his example with it, and is often apt to think, if the differences are not very strongly marked ones, that they may be the result of the artists not being exhaustively accurate, and is, consequently, sometimes thereby led to erroneous conclusions. But; the shape of the black bands on upper surface of secondaries, and the spaces between the black bands on under surface of primaries which are open and clear from costa to interior margin, and which are also orange coloured between the median and sub-basal, and the latter and base, are points that are so distinctive as to preclude all idea of the identity of our species with either of its European allies alluded to. The fact of the red on under side of primaries being of an entirely different tint from that of secondaries is very remarkable; I do not believe it exists in any other known Catocala.

March 1st, 1874.


Proc. Ent. Soc., Phil, Vol. II, p. 508, (1864).

(PLATE IX, FIG. 6, ? female.)

Expands 4 inches.

Head and thorax light grey; abdomen is wanting in the single example so far known.

Upper surface; primaries pale grey and white, more or less powdered with dark grey or blackish atoms, (and bear a superficial resemblance to those of the European C. Fraxini *); transverse lines black; beyond the transverse posterior line, a brown hand, succeeded outwardly by another which is much narrower and pure white; reniform dark, and shape not well defined; sub-reniform joined by a line to, not formed by, a sinus of the transverse posterior line; fringe white.

Secondaries scarlet of a lovely shade; mesial band narrowed in the middle, and extends almost to the abdominal margin; fringe white.

Habitat. Yreka, California.

A regal insect, exceeding in size all known American species; the unique type from which the annexed figure was drawn is in the Museum of the Am. Ent. Soc.; its sex can not be determined, as, unfortunately, the abdomen, as I before stated, is non est, but from general appearances I should suppose the example in question to be a female.

One can but regret that so little concerning this fine species is known; the original description contains no further remarks than "from Yreka, California," and we can only hope that time, which "at last sets all things even," will enable us to receive specimens, and learn more concerning this superb insect.


(Eunetis U.) Sam. Exot. Schmett., II, 26, f. 347, (1793-1827).

Catocala U., Guenee, Noct. III, 89, (1852).

Catocala U., Packard, Guide, p. 317, p. 8, fig. 4, (l869).

(PLATE IX, FIG. 7, female.)

Expands 2 to 2½ inches.

Head and body brown above, greyish white beneath.

Upper surface; primaries pale ash-coloured, a broad, longitudinal, rich deep brown space covers the lower one-third of the wing to the interior margin; a broad, suffused, sub-apical dash of the same colour; reniform small, generally almost obsolete; sub-reniform open.

Secondaries deep red; mesial and marginal bands regular, and extending to abdominal margin; fringe white.

Under surface; primaries, base black, between this and the median band the space is red, between the median and marginal bands it is yellowish white.

Secondaries red, greyish near the costa; mesial band irregular in width and extends to inner margin; a black distal lune joins the mesial; fringes white and black.

Habitat. Canada, and the United States generally east of the Mississippi.

A common and very pretty species which, by the peculiar appearance of the primaries, can be easily known from all others.


Proc. Ent. Soc., Phila., Vol. III, p. 88, t. III, (1864).

Proc. Ent. Soc., Phila., Vol. III, p. 532, (1864).

Trans. Am. Ent. Soc., Vol. IV, p. 10, (1872).

(PLATE IX, FIG. 8, male.)

Expands 2-3/4 to 3 inches.

Head and thorax brown, with darker lines; abdomen yellowish brown. Beneath pale ochraceous.

Upper surface; primaries brown, varied with darker basal, median and sub-apical shades; transverse lines black; reniform large and enclosed in a dark shade; sub-reniform open and pale, from this to the costa, interior to the reniform, is a paler space.

Secondaries yellow, base clothed with brownish hair; bands rather broad, but narrowing towards their termination at the abdominal margin.

Under surface* of all wings pale ochraceous, darker at interior margins; primaries have three transverse bands, the sub-basal and mesial black and distinct, the marginal pale, much suffused with yellow, especially towards tile exterior margin; on secondaries the mesial band is irregular in width, narrow towards the costa, :broader on disc, and is terminated some distance from inner margin; marginal band darkest near the anal angle and becomes almost obsolete as it nears the apex and costa.

Habitat. New England, Middle and Southern States.

A rather common species, belonging to the same group as Subnata and Neogama, in company with which it occurs in many localities.


Noct., Vol. III, 97, (1852).

(PLATE IX, FIG. 9, male.)

Expands 2-1/2 to 2-3/4 inches.

Head and body dark brown above; beneath yellowish grey.

Upper surface; primaries dark, rich reddish brown, with none of the markings very distinct; reniform small; sub-reniform pale, space immediately interior to the reniform also a little paler; transverse lines black.

Secondaries deep yellow clothed with brown hair at base and abdominal margin; marginal and mesial bands extend to interior margin; fringe blackish, except near apex, where it is white.

Under surface yellow, darkest at and near inner margin of secondaries; three black bands on primaries, the sub-basal anti median connected near the inner margin; the two black bands of secondaries extend from costa to abdominal margin.

Habitat. Middle, Western and Southern United States.

Is an exceedingly rare species with us, but occurs more frequently in Georgia and Florida, from which latter states I have occasionally received it.


Phalaena Consors, Lepid. Georgia, Vol II, p. 177, t. 89, (1797).

Catocala Consors, Guenee, Noct. III, 99, (1852).

(PLATE IX, FIG. 10, male.)

Expands 2-1/4 to 2-1/2 inches.

Head and thorax, above, smoky grey; abdomen yellowish brown, beneath yellowish grey.

Upper surface; primaries dark smoky grey; transverse lines black, dull, and not deeply dentate; reni-form brownish; sub-reniform small.

Secondaries; deep yellow, with brown hair at base and abdominal margin; marginal band with three deep indentations interiorly, mesial band very irregular; the shape of these bands cause the wing to have a cheq-uered appearance, one point of the marginal band almost touching another of the mesial, on the disc; fringes black and yellow.

Under surface dusky yellow; three broad black bands on primaries, mesial and marginal bands of secondaries much as above.

Habitat. From Maryland to the Gulf.

An exceedingly rare species, or at least difficult to obtain, as it is represented in but few American collections; the example from which fig. 10 was drawn is in the collection of Mr. Chas. Blake, of Philadelphia, well known by his extensive labours on the N. Am. Mutillidae,* and to whose uniform goodness I am indebted for innumerable favours, far more than, with my best will, I ever shall be able to repay.


Proc. Ent. Soc., Phila., Vol. II, p. 510, (1864).

Catocala Ponderosa, Grote & Robinson, Proc. Ent. Soc., Phila., Vol. VI, p. 23, t. 4, (1866). Grote, Trans. Am. Ent. Sec., Vol. IV, p. 11, (1872).

(PLATE IX, FIG. 11, female.)

Expands 3 to 3-1/4 inches.

Head and body brown above, and yellow beneath.

Upper surface; primaries, ground color greyish yellow, heavily clouded with maroon or dark reddish brown, which has on fresh examples a perceptible bluish sheen, especially on that portion from the transverse anterior line to the base, which is so dark as to appear almost black; the transverse anterior line widens unequally from its middle upwards to the costa where it is very broad; transverse posterior line deeply sinuated; reniform moderately large and doubly annulated; sub-reniform connected with the transverse posterior line.

Secondaries rich yellow; marginal band broad, space between this and the median band narrow; the portion of the wing from the median band to the base almost entirely covered with heavy brownish hair, giving the wing much the same appearance as in Cerogama, Guen.; a yellow apical spot; fringe yellow.

Under surface yellow; primaries with three purplish black bands, the sub-marginal, which is narrowest, and the median, extend from costa to interior margin, the sub-basal reaches only to the sub-median nervure; none of these bands are connected with each other. On secondaries the mesial and marginal bands extend to abdominal margin. Fringes on all wings yellow.

Habitat. Middle, and Western States to the Mississippi; rather rare.

In the original description of this species we have another instance of how utterly valueless, aye, worse than valueless, are such things unaccompanied with figures; Mr. W. H. Edwards' description (in Proc. Ent. Soc., Phila., 1864,) is better than nine-tenths of such things generally are, and, moreover, is written in language that can be understood, nevertheless, after a lapse of two years, so little had this description been recognized, that Messrs. Grote & Robinson re-described this, one of the largest of our Catocalae, and one so prominently unlike all others, as a new species, and even made remarks comparative concerning the difference between Edwards' Nebulosa and their Ponderosa, but I had better quote their own words literally and in full, which follow their technical description: "Several specimens examined. Resembles the description of C. Nebulosa, Edwds., but differs in several important particulars, the co1or of the ordinary spots, conformation of the median band on the under surface of the secondaries and the general aspect of these on the upper surface seem to be different, while some of the minor details, such as the color of the scales clothing the nervules, etc., will not apply properly to C. Ponderosa, nobis."* I believe Mr. W. H. Edwards published no protest, perhaps he cared nothing about it, or it may be that their description was as unintelligible to him as his was to them, for theirs was a third longer and infinitely more abstruse and grandiose, and, in consequence, he may not have been aware of the identity of his Nebulosa and their "Ponderosa, nobis." Six years later Mr. Grote again described it under the name of Ponderosa, giving Nebulosa as a synonym; after his technical description comes the following (quoted in full: "Mr. Edwards compares the secondaries quite wrongly with those of C. Cerogama,) ( which C. Ponderosa in nowise resembles. The specific name chosen by Mr. Edwards had already been used five times in the family ;" ][ by this we understand that he has at last became acquainted with the fact that Nebulosa, Edwds., and Ponderosa, Grote & R., are the same; but in this instance it appears that the law of priority must succumb, in order that the G. & R. may still obtain, at all events the G., for were that stricken off in all instances where it is attached to synonyms, the taint of synonymy would be removed from the great bulk of N. American Heteroceres. No! Ponderosa must stand because Nebulosa "had already been used five times in the family." Now, how has it been used five times? it has been applied to an Agrotis,§ a Mamestra,|| a Hadena,[[ a Dryobota** and a Taeniocampa, ++ the latter, however, is Nebulosus, not Nebulosa, and in these five the name only holds for one, Mamestra Nebulosa, Hufnagel; as regards the others, they are only synonyms, and no longer used to designate the species. The connection between Mamestra Nebulosa, Hufn., and Catocala Nebulosa, Edwds., is about as intimate as between Papilio Philenor, L.&& and Parnassius Clodius, Men.,§§ and they resemble each other about as much as do those two diurnals. Mr. Grote's own words will, however, support, me in retaining Mr. Edwards' prior name of Nebulosa, for he says, (in speaking of another species, C. Marmorata,) "with regard to the specific name, this is already used in the Noctuidae for a species of Hadena. It has been hitherto the custom to reject such names, but this should not be done where, as in the present case, there is no danger of confusion."|||| The Hadena alluded to is a small affair found in N. E. Labrador, Greenland, Iceland and northern Scotland; it is a little smaller than Mamestra Nebulosa, has brownish primaries and smoky secondaries; its true name, however, is not H. Marmorata, but H. Exulis,%%, the former title was bestowed on it by Dr. Herrich-Schaeffer much later; but, in either ease, to object to a species of the large, brilliant, semi-Geometrid genus Catocala, occupying a position at the termination of the great family of the Noctuidae, being designated by the same name as one of the small obscure moths comprised in the widely different genera of Mamestra or Hadena which stand near the head of that; family, seems to be as useless as it is inconsistent.


Phalaena Amasia, Lep. Georgia, Vol. II, p. 178, t. 90, upper figure, (1797).

Catocala Amasia, Duncan, Nat. Lib. Ent., Vol. VII, p. 205, t. 26, (1841).

Catocala Amasia, Guenee, Noct., Vo1. III, 103, (1852).

(PLATE IX, FIG. 12, male.)

Expands 1-1/2 to l-3/4 inches.

Head and thorax pale grey and white, with black marks; abdomen yellowish; beneath yellowish white.

Upper surface; primaries white, transverse lines black and distinct, reniform and sub-reniform distinctly defined by black lines, space from the transverse posterior line to the exterior margin brownish, traversed from costa to inner margin by a narrow white zig-zag band.

Secondaries yellow, marginal band broken about two-thirds in from the costa, but replaced with a spot at the anal angle; median band narrow and nearly straight, and discontinued some distance from the abdominal margin.

Under surface yellow, darkest at bases and at inner half of secondaries; a marginal and median band of ordinary width extending from costa to inner margin; of the sub-basal band, an almost imperceptible shade is all that is noticeable, at least in the examples I have or have access to; perhaps in large suites there may occur examples in which this band may be more distinct. Bands of secondaries same as on upper side.

Habitat. Virginia, Georgia, Florida, and other of the Southern States. Rare.

According to Abbot, the caterpillar is grey, with darker lines laterally, and its food various kinds of oaks, but that it also was found on the Pride of China, (Melia Azedarack, L.), that it spun the beginning of May and came out the end of the same month.

On the lower part of Abbot's plate 90, where this insect was first represented, there is another species which purports to be its female, and which is found not only in the south, but as far north, to my knowledge, as Rhode Island; it is a species of the same size as Amasia, and was described as C. Formula * in a succeeding plate it will also be delineated.

The nearest European representative of Amasia is C. Nymphagoga,+ but the similarity exists principally in size and markings, as the upper side of primaries in the latter are dark, whilst in our species they are white, but the style of' ornamentation, arrangement of' bands, etc., are very similar.

But few examples of C. Amasia find their way into collections, owing to the non-residence of collectors or Lepidopterists in the Southern States, and, however speculative and enterprising a people the Americans may be, they have not yet found a way to make the natural sciences pecuniarily remunerative; and in this respect, as well as in some others, we need not be ashamed to learn something from the old country.


I have a sort of old-fashioned respect for the way the fathers of science used to name these things; for instance, the Catocalae all had amatory names, relating to love or marriage, Amatrix, Cara, Relicta, etc., etc. Of course these terms would soon be exhausted, and, in fact, have been; then, names that would in a great measure keep up the connection would naturally be next selected, and the most appropriate ones for the purpose would be those of women famous in ancient history for their lust or talents, or both combined, as in the case of C. Messalina,+ C. Helena § and C. Briseis,|| of later authors, and it might be well to continue in the same plan. Of upwards of forty species found in Europe and Siberia, none had the names of any scientist, ancient or modern, bestowed upon them, though such names as Lederer, Felder, Hewitson and Moschler will, nevertheless, stand whilst printing or science endure. But to us progressive Americans it is owing that the harmony of the Catocala Nomenclature has been broken; Edwards first, with his C. Walshii, and then Grote with C. Clintonii, C. Robinsonii, etc.; it is, however, done, and irrevocably so, and we can only in sadness submit. I can not, howevcr, refrain from thinking that there is a great deal in the appropriateness of a name, for I never yet knew one of your George Washington Smiths, or John Quincy Adams Warrens, or Michael Angelo Jones, leaving any very perceptible foot-prints on the sands of time, and vividly I remember, whilst walking, years ago, through a plantation in S. Carolina, that every third field hand was Julius Caesar Aga- memnon, or Mark Antony Aurelius, and one burly fellow carried, in addition to about 300 pounds adipose tissue, the fearful additional load of Clarence Theophrastus Columbus Porcher Barton. In the case of these overloaded unfortunates, the grandeur of the name was, like the helmet in the "Castle of Otranto," crushing instead of adorning. In the case of the beauteous and wonderful works of nature it is just the contrary, their loveliness and marvelous structure are such that the grandest names of science, art and history seem almost too feeble to apply to them, whilst names of lesser note cannot be exalted by the association, but serve only as a blot to deface the beautiful. I believe that all that is great and sublime in nature and art is more or less intimately connected, but now, in Heaven's name, what grandeur, or historical or poetical idea can we associate with such names? It is true, they may answer the purpose of identification, but so would Catocala No. 1, Catocala No. 2, etc., for that matter equally as well, but how different when we gaze on the gorgeous Priamus Butterfly* what a flood of thought it suggests! the court of the old Trojan King arises and is "followed fast and followed faster" by each varied scene of the Iliad; the Golden Croesus] reminds in an instant of the magnificence of the Lydian monarch and the death of the hapless Atys; and the splendid Sardanapalus,{ of the sumptuousness of that prince; and Humboldtii,§ though any to whom science is dear scarce need a reminder, of one far exceeding in rank all of earth's potentates, one of whom a monarch of Europe once said, "Der groesste mann seit Noah."||