Moths of North Carolina
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Acronicta Members:
167 NC Records

Acronicta retardata (Walker, 1861) - Retarded Dagger


Taxonomy
Superfamily: Noctuoidea Family: NoctuidaeSubfamily: AcronictinaeP3 Number: 931470.00 MONA Number: 9251.00
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 retardata was included in the Modica Species Group (Group IV) by Forbes (1954) but has been placed in a separate, monotypic subgenus, Dossena, by Schmidt and Anweiler (2020), based on distinctive larval and male reproductive characters.
Species Status: Also known as the Maple Dagger.
Identification
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)Technical Description, Immature Stages: Wagner et al. (2011); Schmidt and Anweiler (2020)                                                                                 
Adult Markings: A small, gray Dagger with few distinctive markings. The ground color is light to medium gray and lacks the greenish, brownish, or reddish shadings found in the increta group, which otherwise look similar (Schmidt and Anweiler, 2020). A small, blackish triangular spot located at the junction between the basal dash and antemedian line is the most distinctive marking.
Wingspan: 2.5 - 3.2 cm (Covell, 1984)
Forewing Length: 13.3 mm, males; 13.8 mm, females (Schmidt and Anweiler, 2020)
Adult Structural Features: Male reproductive structures are highly distinctive (see Schmidt and Anweiler, 2020, for a description and illustrations).
Adult ID Requirements: Identifiable from good quality photos of unworn specimens.
Immatures and Development: Larvae are distinctive among Acronicta species but similar to those of Alypia and may be mimics of that species (Wagner et al., 2011). The body is transversely banded with black and pale gray and possessing protuberant orange pinnacula and long white setae.
Larvae ID Requirements: Identifiable from good quality photos, especially where associated with known host plants.
Distribution in North Carolina
Distribution: Probably found statewide but with few records from the high mountains and none from the barrier islands
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
Flight Comments: Possibly bivoltine, with peaks in the spring and late summer
Habitats and Life History
Habitats: Our records come mainly from wet-to-mesic hardwood forests
Larval Host Plants: Larvae feed on a wide range of maples, including Red Maple (Acer rubrum), Silver Maple (A. saccharinum), Sugar Maple (A. saccharum), and Boxelder (A. negundo) (Wagner et al., 2011). In North Carolina, the species has been recorded feeding on Red Maple, Florida Maple (A. floridanum), and Boxelder. - View
Wikipedia
See also Habitat Account for General Maple Forests
Status in North Carolina
Natural Heritage Program Status:
Natural Heritage Program Ranks: G5 S5
State Protection: Has no legal protection, although permits are required to collect it on state parks and other public lands.
Comments: This species is found throughout the state where it is associated with common host plants in habitats that are also still common. Consequently, it appears to be secure in North Carolina.

 Photo Gallery for Acronicta retardata - Retarded Dagger

83 photos are available. Only the most recent 30 are shown.

Recorded by: David George on 2024-07-15
Chatham Co.
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Recorded by: David George, Jeff Niznik on 2024-07-08
Chatham Co.
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Recorded by: David George on 2024-07-04
Chatham Co.
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Recorded by: David George on 2024-07-04
Chatham Co.
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Recorded by: David George, Jeff Niznik, Stephen Dunn on 2024-06-29
Chatham Co.
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Recorded by: David George, Stephen Dunn, Jeff Niznik, Patrick Coin on 2024-06-22
Chatham Co.
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Recorded by: David George, Stephen Dunn, Jeff Niznik, Patrick Coin on 2024-06-22
Chatham Co.
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Recorded by: David George, Steve Hall, Patrick Coin, Mark Basinger on 2024-06-16
Chatham Co.
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Recorded by: Jim Petranka on 2024-05-20
Madison Co.
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Recorded by: David George, Jeff Nizink, Rich Teper on 2024-05-16
New Hanover Co.
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Recorded by: Mark Basinger on 2024-05-02
Wilson Co.
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Recorded by: Mark Basinger on 2024-05-02
Wilson Co.
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Recorded by: Jim Petranka on 2024-04-23
Madison Co.
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Recorded by: David George, Jeff Niznik, Rich Teper on 2024-04-17
New Hanover Co.
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Recorded by: David George, Jeff Nizink, Rich Teper on 2024-04-16
New Hanover Co.
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Recorded by: David George, Jeff Niznik on 2023-09-20
Durham Co.
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Recorded by: Stephen Hall on 2023-08-18
Orange Co.
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Recorded by: Chuck Smith on 2023-08-17
Davidson Co.
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Recorded by: John Petranka on 2023-08-07
Orange Co.
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Recorded by: David George, Stephen Dunn, Jeff Niznik, Rich Teper, Becky Watkins on 2023-07-30
Swain Co.
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Recorded by: David George, Stephen Dunn, Jeff Niznik, Rich Teper, Becky Watkins on 2023-07-29
Swain Co.
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Recorded by: Jim Petranka on 2023-07-26
Madison Co.
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Recorded by: David George, Steve Hall, Stephen Dunn, Jeff Niznik, Rich Teper, Becky Watkins on 2023-07-22
Orange Co.
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Recorded by: Jim Petranka on 2023-07-17
Madison Co.
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Recorded by: David George, Stephen Dunn, Jeff Niznik on 2023-07-13
Orange Co.
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Recorded by: John Petranka on 2023-07-04
Orange Co.
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Recorded by: K. Bischof on 2023-04-22
Transylvania Co.
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Recorded by: David George, Becky Watkins on 2023-04-21
Durham Co.
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Recorded by: Jeff Niznik on 2023-04-05
Durham Co.
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Recorded by: Darryl Willis on 2023-03-13
Cabarrus Co.
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