Moths of North Carolina
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View PDFNoctuidae Members: 181 NC Records

Acronicta ovata Grote, 1873 - Ovate Dagger


Taxonomy
Superfamily: Noctuoidea Family: NoctuidaeSubfamily: AcronictinaeP3 Number: 931463.00 MONA Number: 9243.00
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 Lepitoreuma by Schmidt and Anweiler, and in the Increta Species Group. Other members of this group in North Carolina include albarufa, exilis, modica (=haesitata), immodica (=modica), increta, and tristis.
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)                                                                                 
Adult Markings: Acronicta ovata gets its name from the prominently oval basal patch, but is often confused with other members of the Increta Group; usually, it is the combination of several characters that serves to distinguish it (Schmidt and Anweiler, 2020). The ground color of the forewings is usually medium gray with a greenish tint. A patch of rusty or yellow-tan scales usually exists overlaying the reniform spot. The antemedian line is dark, but broken -- not reaching the costa or the inner margin. Both the basal and tornal dashes are present but are thin. The hindwings are fuscous. Acronicta exilis can have similar markings but is much smaller and usually paler. Acronicta albarufa can also have similar forewing markings but the hindwings are pure white rather than fuscous. Other members of the Increta Group differ in one or more of the features described for ovata (see Schmidt and Anweiler for more details).
Wingspan: 35 mm (Forbes, 1954)
Forewing Length: 16.0 mm, males, 16.4 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 from the entire spectrum of oak-containing habitats, including maritime forests, sand ridges, alluvial forests, and high elevation mesic forests
Larval Host Plants: Most larval records come from White Oak, but with several from Red Oak; other oaks, Beech, and Chestnut have been reported (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 S4S5
State Protection: Has no legal protection, although permits are required to collect it on state parks and other public lands.
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 Photo Gallery for Acronicta ovata - Ovate Dagger

Photos: 26

Recorded by: Jim Petranka on 2021-06-14
Madison Co.
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Recorded by: Dean Furbish on 2021-04-30
Wake Co.
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Recorded by: David L. Heavner on 2021-04-25
Chatham Co.
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Recorded by: Simpson Eason on 2021-04-09
Durham Co.
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Recorded by: Owen McConnell on 2020-09-03
Durham Co.
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Recorded by: Jim Petranka and Becky Elkin on 2020-07-06
Madison Co.
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Recorded by: Gary Maness on 2020-06-20
Guilford Co.
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Recorded by: Vin Stanton on 2020-05-15
Buncombe Co.
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Recorded by: Jim Petranka and Becky Elkin on 2019-08-25
Madison Co.
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Recorded by: Jim Petranka and Becky Elkin on 2019-06-25
Madison Co.
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Recorded by: Jim Petranka and Becky Elkin on 2019-05-26
Madison Co.
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Recorded by: David L. Heavner on 2019-05-21
Buncombe Co.
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Recorded by: Gary Maness on 2019-05-12
Guilford Co.
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Recorded by: Gary Maness on 2019-05-03
Guilford Co.
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Recorded by: Gary Maness on 2019-04-25
Guilford Co.
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Recorded by: Ken Kneidel on 2018-08-05
Yancey Co.
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Recorded by: Steve Hall and Bo Sullivan on 2018-07-19
Ashe Co.
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Recorded by: Jim Petranka and Becky Elkin on 2018-07-11
Madison Co.
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Recorded by: Jim Petranka and Becky Elkin on 2018-05-21
Madison Co.
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Recorded by: Jim Petranka and Becky Elkin on 2018-05-12
Madison Co.
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Recorded by: Steve Hall and Bo Sullivan on 2016-08-02
Ashe Co.
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Recorded by: B. Bockhahn, P. Coin, C. Sorenson on 2015-07-24
Orange Co.
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Recorded by: K. Bischof on 2014-07-18
McDowell Co.
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Recorded by: Jim Petranka and Becky Elkin on 2014-06-16
Madison Co.
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Recorded by: K. Bischof on 2013-07-04
Transylvania Co.
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Recorded by: Paul Scharf on 2010-08-25
Warren Co.
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