Dark Crimson Underwing - Catocala sponsa


Wingspan 60 to 70 mm.  Similar to the more common Red Underwing and should be checked with care (especially the underwing).

Identification difficulty
Recording advice

In view of the rarity of this species any possible records should be reported to the VC55 Recorder for Moths and the specimen should be retained until his instructions are received.


Associated with oak woodland. The adults are nocturnal and can be attracted by sugar as well as light.  Individuals recorded away from the New Forest area are likely to be migrants.

When to see it

There is one generation during the year, flying in August and September.

Life History

Overwinters as an egg. The larva feeds from April to early June.

UK Status

A rare species, classed as Red Data Book category RDB3. It occurs as a breeding species only in the New Forest, Hampshire, and otherwise is only occasionally recorded as a migrant. Overwinters as an egg. The larva feeds from April to early June.

VC55 Status

Rare in Leicestershire and Rutland.  The Sapcote record of August 2019 is the first for our area (VC55).

72.081 BF2455

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Leicestershire & Rutland Map


Yellow squares = NBN records (all known data)
Coloured circles = NatureSpot records: 2020+ | 2015-2019 | pre-2015

UK Map