Moths of North Carolina
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View PDFNoctuidae Members: 28 NC Records

Acronicta spinigera Guenée, 1852 - Nondescript Dagger

Superfamily: Noctuoidea Family: NoctuidaeSubfamily: AcronictinaeP3 Number: 931452.00 MONA Number: 9235.00
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. This species is placed in subgenus Agriopodes by Schmidt and Anweiler, and in the Hasta Species Group. Other members of this group in North Carolina include hamamelis, lithospila, innotata, betulae, radcliffei, hasta, interrupta, laetifica, superans, morula, and lobeliae.
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 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) ≥ 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 mainly from cove forests and high elevation forests in the mountains
Larval Host Plants: Larvae have apparently not been observed in the wild (Schmidt and Anweiler, 2020), but captive-reared larvae appear to prefer Basswood, with Elm and Apple also accepted (Wagner et al., 2011)
See also Habitat Account for General Montane Mesic Forests
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 spinigera - Nondescript Dagger

Photos: 3

Recorded by: tom ward on 2021-07-16
Buncombe Co.
Recorded by: Jim Petranka and Becky Elkin on 2019-07-25
Madison Co.
Recorded by: Jim Petranka and Becky Elkin on 2019-06-07
Madison Co.