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Species Acronicta haesitata - Hesitant Dagger - Hodges#9245

Tiny, pale, and fuzzy - Acronicta haesitata Acronicta haesitata Acronicta haesitata White and gray moth - Acronicta haesitata 9245 Hesitant Dagger - Acronicta haesitata Hesitant Dagger - Acronicta haesitata Acronicta haesitata - Hesitant Dagger  - Acronicta haesitata hesitant dagger - Acronicta haesitata
Show images of: caterpillars · adults · both
Kingdom Animalia (Animals)
Phylum Arthropoda (Arthropods)
Subphylum Hexapoda (Hexapods)
Class Insecta (Insects)
Order Lepidoptera (Butterflies and Moths)
Superfamily Noctuoidea (Owlet Moths and kin)
Family Noctuidae (Owlet Moths)
Subfamily Acronictinae
Genus Acronicta (Dagger Moths)
Species haesitata (Hesitant Dagger - Hodges#9245)
Hodges Number
wingspan 30-43 mm
Adult: forewing medium gray with AM and PM line usually conspicuously double; basal dash thick but usually not touching small blackish blotch at middle of AM line; hindwing grayish-brown
[description by Charles Covell]

Larva: greenish-, yellowish-, orangish-, or pinkish-brown with white setae along sides of body; head pinkish-tan, mottled; dorsum of last thoracic and anterior abdominal segments with irregular white blotches and interrupted middorsal stripe; rear segments with yellowish subdorsal splotches; rests with head against side of abdomen in leaf shelter
[description by David Wagner and Valerie Giles]
Several closely-related Acronicta species (albarufa, inclara, increta, modica, ovata) also on oaks with similarly-marked caterpillars
Nova Scotia to South Carolina, west to Texas, north to Ontario
adults fly from April to August or September; peak numbers in June and July
larvae from June to October
larvae feed on leaves of Red Oak and White Oak
Life Cycle
two generations per year in the south; one in the north
See Also
A. increta and ovata are similar but have more extensive dark shading in basal area of forewing (compare images of all three species)
Internet References
adult images (Larry Line, Maryland)
common name reference plus food plants and flight season (Ohio State U.)
live larva image plus description, food plants, season, similar species (David Wagner and Valerie Giles, Caterpillars of Eastern Forests; USGS)