Moths of North Carolina
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View PDFNoctuidae Members: 181 NC Records

Acronicta immodica Walker, 1856 - Medium Dagger


Taxonomy
Superfamily: Noctuoidea Family: NoctuidaeSubfamily: AcronictinaeP3 Number: 931465.00 MONA Number: 9244.00 MONA Synonym: Acronicta modica
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 Lepitoreuma by Schmidt and Anweiler, and in the Increta Species Group. Other members of this group in North Carolina include albarufa, ovata, exilis, modica (=haesitata), increta, and tristis.
Species Status:

Note the change in name! This species was previously named Acronicta haesitata but was recently changed by Schmidt and Anweiler (2020) to Acronicta modica, since the type specimen of modica turned out to be what was later called haesitata. Conversely, the species that formerly was identified as modica is now re-named as immodica.

Identification
Field Guide Descriptions: Covell (1984); Beadle and Leckie (2012)Online Photographs: MPG, BugGuide, iNaturalist, Google, BAMONATechnical Description, Adults: Forbes (1954, as modica); Schmidt and Anweiler (2020)                                                                                 
Adult Markings: A medium-sized, fairly uniform gray Dagger. The ground color of the forewings is pale gray but more-or-less tinged with yellow; the occipital area of the head and tegulae may also be marked with yellow. The basal area is not darker than the rest of the wing and antemedian line does not strongly contrast with the ground color. The other tranverse lines and outlines of the spots are also fairly diffuse but the anal dash is typically black and narrowly defined. Hindwings are pale fuscous. Acronicta modica (formerly haesitata) is similar in size and pattern but lacks the yellow tinge on the forewings, has a somewhat darker antemedian, and has more diffuse anal dashes if they are present at all (Forbes, 1954). Neither A. immodica nor modica has a reddish shade at the reniform, which is more characteristic of ovata, exilis, increta, or albarufa.
Wingspan: 33-37 mm (Forbes, 1954)
Forewing Length: 17.3 mm, males; 17.9 mm, females (Schmidt and Anweiler, 2020)
Adult Structural Features: Apart from size -- which distinguishes exilis from the others -- members of the Increta Species Group show essentially no structural differences, including reproductive structures (Schmidt and Anweiler, 2020)
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
Habitats and Life History
Habitats: Our records come mainly from mesic to dry sites but not xeric
Larval Host Plants: Larvae have been recorded on White Oak; possibly feeds on other oaks (Wagner et al., 2011)
Wikipedia
See also Habitat Account for General Oak-Hickory 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:

 Photo Gallery for Acronicta immodica - Medium Dagger

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

Recorded by: Simpson Eason on 2021-08-14
Durham Co.
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Recorded by: David George on 2021-07-31
Durham Co.
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Recorded by: Dean Furbish on 2021-07-31
Wake Co.
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Recorded by: David L. Heavner on 2021-06-15
Chatham Co.
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Recorded by: Jim Petranka and Becky Elkin on 2021-05-21
Madison Co.
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Recorded by: Jim Petranka on 2021-05-20
Madison Co.
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Recorded by: Gary Maness on 2021-05-18
Guilford Co.
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Recorded by: Vin Stanton on 2021-05-16
Buncombe Co.
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Recorded by: Gary Maness on 2021-05-03
Guilford Co.
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Recorded by: Gary Maness on 2021-05-02
Guilford Co.
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Recorded by: Gary Maness on 2021-04-29
Guilford Co.
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Recorded by: Dean Furbish on 2021-04-29
Wake Co.
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Recorded by: Gary Maness on 2021-04-28
Guilford Co.
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Recorded by: Gary Maness on 2021-04-28
Guilford Co.
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Recorded by: Gary Maness on 2021-04-20
Guilford Co.
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Recorded by: Gary Maness on 2021-04-13
Guilford Co.
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Recorded by: Gary Maness on 2021-04-13
Guilford Co.
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Recorded by: Owen McConnell on 2020-08-13
Durham Co.
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Recorded by: Gary Maness on 2020-08-11
Guilford Co.
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Recorded by: Gary Maness on 2020-08-09
Guilford Co.
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Recorded by: Gary Maness on 2020-08-01
Guilford Co.
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Recorded by: Gary Maness on 2020-07-30
Guilford Co.
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Recorded by: Gary Maness on 2020-07-30
Guilford Co.
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Recorded by: Lior Carlson on 2020-07-25
Orange Co.
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Recorded by: Steve Hall on 2020-07-24
Orange Co.
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Recorded by: Gary Maness on 2020-07-22
Guilford Co.
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Recorded by: Jim Petranka and Becky Elkin on 2020-07-17
Madison Co.
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Recorded by: Steve Hall on 2020-07-16
Orange Co.
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Recorded by: Gary Maness on 2020-07-01
Guilford Co.
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Recorded by: Vin Stanton on 2020-06-25
Buncombe Co.
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