Northern Prairie Wildlife Research Center
Wingspan 4.8 cm. Forewing may have a varying mix of yellow, red-brown and black mottled with fine dark lines, apical part of the postmedian line is strongly dentate. This noctuid is common in wet coastal forests and in riparian forests east of the Cascades. Moths fly in spring and late summer. Caterpillars are generalist feeders on the foliage of flowering trees and shrubs, especially willows (Salix).
Similar species: Zale minerea is smaller with a smoother postmedian line, common in high elevation conifer forests and wet coastal forests, caterpillars are generalist feeders on the foliage of flowering trees and shrubs; Zale termina is smaller, dark gray, occurs in dry forests in the Pacific West, caterpillars feed on chinquapin (Chrysolepis chrysophylla) and canyon live oak (Quercus chrysolepis); Zale duplicata is smaller, forewing is dark gray with a small black reniform spot and lacks fine dark lines, occurs in high elevation conifer forests of the Rocky Mountains and Cascade Mountains, caterpillars feed on the foliage of pine (Pinus) and larch (Larix).