Underwing Moth

Underwing Moth

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Credit: STUART WILSON/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Underwing Moth showing it's camouflage side. These moths are members of the family Noctuidae and the Genus Catocala. Their forewings are mottled shades of gray and brown, but the hindwings are boldly patterned in orange, yellow, red or white. Underwing moths are named for the colorful patterns on their hindwings, which are covered by the forewings when the moth is at rest. When a bird or other potential predator disturbs a camouflaged underwing moth, the sudden, brilliant flash of color when the moth takes off may momentarily startle or confuse the predator, allowing the moth an extra moment to escape. The bright hindwing colors may also deflect an attack away from the moth's body, resulting in wing damage but not death. Photographed in the Huachucha Mountains, Arizona.

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Keywords: animal, animals, arizona, arizona fauna, arthropod, arthropoda, camouflage, camouflaged, catocala, catocala moth, colorful hindwings, defense, defense tactic, defensive display, erebid moth, erebidae, fauna, genus catocala, insect, insecta, insects, lepidoptera, lepidopteran, moth, moths, noctuid, noctuid moth, noctuidae, north american, startle display, underwing moth, wildlife, wings open

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