afflicted dagger moth

(Acronicta afflicta)

afflicted dagger moth
Photo by Alfredo Colon
  Hodges #

9254

 
 
Conservation Status
  IUCN Red List

not listed

     
  NatureServe

NNR - Unranked

     
  Minnesota

not listed

     
           
           
           
           
 
Description
 
 

Afflicted dagger moth is an uncommon, large dagger moth. Adults are ¾ in length and have a wingspan of 1½ to 1¾ (39 to 45 mm). It occurs in the United States east of the Great Plains and in Ontario and Quebec. It is uncommon throughout its range, rare in Minnesota.

The forewings are sooty gray with obscure, darker gray lines and dashes. The circular spot in the median area (orbicular spot), an important identifying feature in dagger moths, is conspicuous. It is white with a dark center and a dark outline.

The antennae are slender and thread-like on both sexes.

The last stage (instar) caterpillar is beige to salmon-colored and up to 19 16 (4 cm) long. A thin black line on the upper side (middorsal) extends from the thorax to the tip of the abdomen. Each abdominal segment has a pair of long, black hairs (setae) in the subdorsal area. The setae are erect, expanded at the tip (clubbed), and about as long as the abdominal segment from which they rise. The breathing pores (spiracles) are pale and are ringed with a thin black line. Mature caterpillars are present from June to November.

 
     
 

Size

 
 

Total Length: ¾ (20 mm)

Wingspan: 1½ to 1¾ (39 to 45 mm)

 
     
 

Similar Species

 
     
     
 
Habitat
 
 

Woodlands and forests

 
     
 
Biology
 
 

Season

 
 

Two generations per year: May to September

 
     
 

Behavior

 
 

Adults are active at night. They are attracted to lights.

 
     
 

Life Cycle

 
 

 

 
     
 

Larva Hosts

 
 

Leaves of oak trees

 
     
 

Adult Food

 
 

 

 
     
 
Distribution
 
 

Distribution Map

 

Sources

21, 24, 29, 30, 75.

 
  9/3/2019      
         
 

Occurrence

 
 

Rare in Minnesota

 
         
 
Taxonomy
 
 

Order

Lepidoptera (butterflies and moths)  
 

Suborder

Glossata  
 

Infraorder

Neolepidoptera  
  Parvorder Heteroneura  
  No Rank Ditrysia  
  No Rank Obtectomera  
 

Superfamily

Noctuoidea (noctuid moths)  
 

Family

Noctuidae (owlet moths)  
 

Subfamily

Acronictinae  
 

Genus

Acronicta  
       
 

Synonyms

 
 

 

 
       
 

Common Names

 
 

afflicted dagger moth

 
       

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Glossary

Instar

The developmental stage of arthropods between each molt; in insects, the developmental stage of the larvae or nymph.

 

Orbicular spot

A circular spot or outline in the outer median area near the antemedial line on the forewing of many moths.

 

Seta

A stiff, hair-like process on the outer surface of an organism. In Lepidoptera: A usually rigid bristle- or hair-like outgrowth used to sense touch. In mosses: The stalk supporting a spore-bearing capsule and supplying it with nutrients. Plural: setae.

 

Spiracle

A small opening on the surface of an insect through which the insect breathes.

 

 

 

 

 

 
 
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Alfredo Colon

 
    afflicted dagger moth      
           
 
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Other Videos
 
  Acronicta afflicta - poop removal
weirdbuglady
 
   
 
About

Jun 15, 2011

When you're a caterpillar, you need to keep your living space tidy. So if you're feeling lazy, you need to get creative.

 
  Acronicta afflicta 1st instar - first meal
weirdbuglady
 
   
 
About

May 27, 2011

Little Acronicta afflicta caterpillar, freshly hatched, starting its first meal of an oak leaf. It's so tiny that it will only be able to chew through one layer of the leaf.

 
       

 

Camcorder

 
 
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  Alfredo Colon
8/31/2019

Location: Woodbury, Minnesota

afflicted dagger moth  
           
 
MinnesotaSeasons.com Sightings
 
 

 

 

 

 

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Created: 9/30/2019

Last Updated:

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