Moths of North Carolina
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View PDFNoctuidae Members: 23 NC Records

Acronicta radcliffei (Harvey, 1875) - Radcliffe's Dagger


Taxonomy
Superfamily: Noctuoidea Family: NoctuidaeSubfamily: AcronictinaeP3 Number: 931430.00 MONA Number: 9209.00
Comments: One of 74 species in this genus found in North America north of Mexico (Schmidt and Anweiler, 2020), 42 of which have been recorded in North Carolina. Radcliffei is a member of Species Group II of Forbes (1954), which includes 17 additional species in North Carolina.
Identification
Field Guide Descriptions: Covell (1984); Beadle and Leckie (2012)Online Photographs: MPG, BugGuide, iNaturalist, Google, BAMONATechnical Description, Adults: Forbes (1954); Schmidt and Anweiler (2020)                                                                                 
Adult Markings: A medium-sized, pale gray Dagger. The ground color is a smooth pale gray, crossed by fine black lines. The postmedian is even or slightly scalloped only above M1; the outer portion is black but the inner line is gray and non-contrasting (Forbes, 1954). The basal dash crosses the antemedian and the outer portion of the antmedian runs nearly straight across towards the costa. The orbicular is large and both the orbicular and reniform are only partially bordered with black; no bar connects the two spots. Anal dashes are fine and black but apical dashes are absent. The hindwings are fuscous. Acronicta interrupta and spinigera are similar in size and appearance but have more strongly dentate, doubled postmedian lines, spots that are more completely outlined with black, and usually well-marked apical dashes.
Wingspan: 38 mm (Forbes, 1954)
Adult ID Requirements: Identifiable from good quality photos of unworn specimens.
Distribution in North Carolina
Distribution:
County Map: Clicking on a county returns the records for the species in that county.
Flight Dates:
 High Mountains (HM) ≥ 4,000 ft.
 Low Mountains (LM) < 4,000 ft.
 Piedmont (Pd)
 Coastal Plain (CP)

Click on graph to enlarge
Immature Dates:
 High Mountains (HM) ≥ 4,000 ft.
 Low Mountains (LM) < 4,000 ft.
 Piedmont (Pd)
 Coastal Plain (CP)

Click on graph to enlarge
Habitats and Life History
Habitats: Our records come from hardwood habitats, including uplands and riparian
Larval Host Plants: Larvae are oligophagous, feeding on Cherry and other woody members of the Rosaceae. Wagner et al. (2011) list Apple, Chokecherry, Hawthorn, Mountain Ash, and Serviceberry
Wikipedia
See also Habitat Account for General Rosaceous Thickets
Status in North Carolina
Natural Heritage Program Status:
Natural Heritage Program Ranks: G5 S4
State Protection: Has no legal protection, although permits are required to collect it on state parks and other public lands.
Comments:

 Photo Gallery for Acronicta radcliffei - Radcliffe's Dagger

Photos: 9

Recorded by: David George on 2020-09-26
Durham Co.
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Recorded by: Steve Hall on 2019-05-25
Orange Co.
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Recorded by: Ken Kneidel on 2018-08-06
Yancey Co.
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Recorded by: Steve Hall and Bo Sullivan on 2018-07-19
Ashe Co.
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Recorded by: Jim Petranka and Becky Elkin on 2018-05-29
Madison Co.
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Recorded by: K. Bischof on 2017-07-30
McDowell Co.
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Recorded by: Darryl Willis on 2017-07-25
Cabarrus Co.
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Recorded by: K. Bischof on 2017-06-03
McDowell Co.
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Recorded by: Doug Blatny/Jackie Nelson on 2012-05-23
Ashe Co.
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