Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
The Red Underwing, Catocala nupta, is a moth of the huge (25000 species) family Noctuidae.
This species and other Catacala moths have brightly coloured underwings, in this case more orange than red. These are not visible at rest, being hidden by the dull forewings, but they help the moth avoid predators such as birds if it is disturbed during the day.
As the Red Underwing takes off, the sudden flash of colour may confuse the attacker, and when it lands and immediately closes its wings it may seem to disappear as the colour is "switched off".
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