afflicted dagger moth

(Acronicta afflicta)

               
Hodges #

9254

afflicted dagger moth

 

Conservation Status

IUCN Red List

not listed

NatureServe

NNR - Unranked

Minnesota

not listed

Occurrence

Rare in Minnesota

Flight/Season

Two generations per year: May to September

Habitat/Hosts

Woodlands and forests. Oak.

Size

Total Length: ¾ (20 mm)

Wingspan: 1½ to 1¾ (39 to 45 mm)

         
         
          Photo by Alfredo Colon
 
Identification

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.

 
Similar
Species

 

 
Larval Food

Leaves of oak trees

 
Adult Food

 

 
Life Cycle

 

 
Behavior

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

 
Distribution Distribution Map  

Sources: 21, 24, 29, 30, 75.

 
Comments  
 
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

 
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 inner median area on the forewing of many moths in the Noctuidae family.

 

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    
       
MinnesotaSeasons.com Photos
   
       
       
       

 

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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
         

 

 

 

Binoculars

Created: 9/30/2019

Last Updated:

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