Do I Not Deserve a Name?

2012_06_23 CR - Underwing Moth (Catacola nymphaea) 01
Underwing Moth (Catacola nymphaea)

I mentioned in a previous entry about Hawk-moths how they try to blend in with the darker parts of nature, whether that be lichen, bark or just the night itself. But many moths are just as colourful as butterflies but keep it hidden beneath their darker grey or brown wings. Take this Underwing moth for instance. It flew into our building here in Ciudad Real and was trying to get out. Unfortunately I couldn’t catch it but hope it escaped out an open window after it flew off upstairs. It was big, very big, perhaps about 22-25mm across.

What caught my attention though was not just the stunning patterns on its forewings, but also the orange of the underwings, which reminded me somewhat of a Meadow Brown (Maniola jurtina) or Spanish Gatekeeper (Pyronia bathseba). This moth does not appear in my moth fieldguide, nor can I find an English common name for it. Neil Young sang about a horse with no name. Now I find a moth with no name. So for now, it’s just an Underwing. Nymphaea actually means any of a variety of water lilies at the genus level. However what does it mean at the species level? Water nymph?

What a beauty! Hopefully it will get a common name sometime.
Find stunning moths or go birding in La Mancha, Spain with Oretani Wildlife.

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