Moths of North Carolina
Scientific Name:
Common Name:
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View PDFNoctuidae Members:
Acronicta Members:
16 NC Records

Acronicta connecta Grote, 1873 - Connected Dagger

Superfamily: Noctuoidea Family: NoctuidaeSubfamily: AcronictinaeP3 Number: 931436.00 MONA Number: 9219.00
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. Acronicta connecta is a member of Species Group II of Forbes (1954), which includes 17 additional species in North Carolina.
Field Guide Descriptions: Covell (1984); Beadle and Leckie (2012)Online Photographs: MPG, BugGuide, iNaturalist, Google, BAMONA, GBIF, BOLDTechnical Description, Adults: Forbes (1954); Schmidt and Anweiler (2020)                                                                                 
Adult Markings: The ground color is typically a mottled ash gray, but there is also a melanic form that can be fairly common (Forbes, 1954). A brownish shade may also be present, especially in the cell. The most conspicuous feature is a dark shade in the fold, running from the base to the outer margin. This shade may be joined by a median dark shade that runs between the orbicular and reniform. The terminal space can also be dark gray or with some dark spots or patches. The antemedian and postmedian are normal, with the postmedian filled with whitish except where it crosses the dark streak. The orbicular and reniform are often obscure and incompletely outlined except for their lower and median sides, which may be more heavily black and sometimes joined by a bar. The hindwing is dirty whitish with dark gray veins and border and a diffuse postmedian shade.
Wingspan: 3 - 3.5 cm (Covell, 1984)
Adult ID Requirements: Identifiable from good quality photos of unworn specimens.
Distribution in North Carolina
County Map: Clicking on a county returns the records for the species in that county.
Flight Dates:
 High Mountains (HM) ‚Č• 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 almost all come from pond, lake, and stream shorelines.
Larval Host Plants: Larvae feed on Willows (Wagner et al., 2011). - View
See also Habitat Account for Shoreline Shrublands
Status in North Carolina
Natural Heritage Program Status:
Natural Heritage Program Ranks: G4 S3S4
State Protection: Has no legal protection, although permits are required to collect it on state parks and other public lands.

 Photo Gallery for Acronicta connecta - Connected Dagger

Photos: 7

Recorded by: Jim Petranka, Becky Elkin and Tony McBride on 2023-07-23
Madison Co.
Recorded by: Jim Petranka, Becky Elkin and Tony McBride on 2023-07-23
Madison Co.
Recorded by: Vin Stanton on 2020-06-06
Buncombe Co.
Recorded by: Jim Petranka and Becky Elkin on 2019-05-28
Buncombe Co.
Recorded by: Darryl Willis on 2016-09-14
Cabarrus Co.
Recorded by: Paul Scharf on 2011-09-02
Warren Co.
Recorded by: Paul Scharf on 2011-08-03
Warren Co.