Moths of North Carolina
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View PDFNoctuidae Members: 124 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. 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.
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)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.
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
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, Silver, Sugar, and Boxelder (Wagner et al., 2011)
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

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

Recorded by: Dean Furbish on 2021-04-30
Wake Co.
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Recorded by: David L. Heavner on 2021-04-27
Chatham Co.
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Recorded by: Gary Maness on 2021-04-26
Guilford Co.
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Recorded by: Gary Maness on 2021-04-18
Guilford Co.
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Recorded by: Gary Maness on 2021-04-18
Guilford Co.
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Recorded by: Simpson Eason on 2020-08-26
Durham Co.
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Recorded by: Darryl Willis on 2020-08-21
Cabarrus Co.
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Recorded by: Vin Stanton on 2020-08-08
Buncombe Co.
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Recorded by: Brian Bockhahn on 2020-07-29
Orange Co.
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Recorded by: Darryl Willis on 2020-07-16
Cabarrus Co.
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Recorded by: Owen McConnell on 2020-07-11
Durham Co.
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Recorded by: Stephen Hall on 2020-07-08
Orange Co.
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Recorded by: Simpson Eason on 2020-07-06
Durham Co.
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Recorded by: Steve Hall on 2020-07-04
Orange Co.
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Recorded by: Darryl Willis on 2020-06-19
Cabarrus Co.
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Recorded by: Steve Hall on 2020-05-30
Orange Co.
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Recorded by: Gary Maness on 2020-05-16
Guilford Co.
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Recorded by: Jim Petranka and Becky Elkin on 2020-05-14
Madison Co.
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Recorded by: Stephen Hall on 2020-05-03
Orange Co.
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Recorded by: Gary Maness on 2020-05-03
Guilford Co.
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Recorded by: Gary Maness on 2020-04-21
Guilford Co.
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Recorded by: Mark Shields on 2020-04-21
Onslow Co.
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Recorded by: Gary Maness on 2019-07-29
Guilford Co.
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Recorded by: David L. Heavner on 2019-07-11
Buncombe Co.
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Recorded by: Gary Maness on 2019-07-11
Guilford Co.
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Recorded by: Gary Maness on 2019-07-01
Guilford Co.
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Recorded by: Michael P. Morales on 2019-06-27
Cumberland Co.
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Recorded by: Gary Maness on 2019-06-25
Guilford Co.
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Recorded by: Stephen Hall on 2019-06-23
Orange Co.
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Recorded by: Ken Kneidel on 2019-06-15
Mecklenburg Co.
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