Species Details

Acronicta radcliffei

University of Alberta E.H. Strickland Entomological Museum Read more about this collection »

Common NameRadcliffe's Dagger-moth SeasonalityAdults have been collected in Alberta in June. IdentificationA medium-sized moth (3.6-3.8 cm wingspan) with powdery grey forewings with black markings and dirty white hindwings. There is a prominent black basal streak that extends just through the antemedian line. The antemedian line is oblique, angled distad toward the lower margin, and is doubled and filled with lighter grey scales. The postmedian line curves outward on the upper half, and is crossed by a fine black streak in the anal angle. The orbicular spot is round, light grey and partially outlined in black scales. The reniform is less clearly defined, and is also partially outlined in black scales. The hindwings are dirty white, darkening toward the outer margin. Sexes are similar, with females having more dark scaling on the hindwings. Very similar to the much commoner Grey Dagger-moth (A. grisea), which is slightly broader-winged and smaller-bodied. The best character for separating radcliffei and grisea is the postmedian line; in radcliffei it runs straight to the margin, whereas in grisea it angles sharply distad and then basad at the lower margin.

Scientific Name Acronicta radcliffei Common Name Radcliffe's Dagger-moth Seasonality Adults have been collected in Alberta in June. Identification
A medium-sized moth (3.6-3.8 cm wingspan) with powdery grey forewings with black markings and dirty white hindwings. There is a prominent black basal streak that extends just through the antemedian line. The…
A medium-sized moth (3.6-3.8 cm wingspan) with powdery grey forewings with black markings and dirty white hindwings. There is a prominent black basal streak that extends just through the antemedian line. The antemedian line is oblique, angled distad toward the lower margin, and is doubled and filled with lighter grey scales. The postmedian line curves outward on the upper half, and is crossed by a fine black streak in the anal angle. The orbicular spot is round, light grey and partially outlined in black scales. The reniform is less clearly defined, and is also partially outlined in black scales. The hindwings are dirty white, darkening toward the outer margin. Sexes are similar, with females having more dark scaling on the hindwings. Very similar to the much commoner Grey Dagger-moth (A. grisea), which is slightly broader-winged and smaller-bodied. The best character for separating radcliffei and grisea is the postmedian line; in radcliffei it runs straight to the margin, whereas in grisea it angles sharply distad and then basad at the lower margin.
Life History A solitary defoliator of hardwood trees or shrubs. The adults are attracted to light. There is a single annual brood, with the adults flying in late spring. Conservation Uncommon in Alberta, but widespread elsewhere; no concerns. Diet Info
No Alberta data; elsewhere in Canada it has been recorded from a variety of deciduous trees and shrubs, with most records from white birch (Betula papyrifera (Prentice, 1962). Rings et al (1992) summarized a number of…
No Alberta data; elsewhere in Canada it has been recorded from a variety of deciduous trees and shrubs, with most records from white birch (Betula papyrifera (Prentice, 1962). Rings et al (1992) summarized a number of host records reported in the literature, most in the family Rosacea, including apple (Malus), serviceberry (Amelanchier, and various cherries (Prunus), but also mountain ash (Sorbus), elm (Ulmus, and willow (Salix).
Range Widespread in eastern and southern North America. In Alberta it has been collected mainly in the southern boreal forest and the more mesic parts of the aspen parklands region, as well in the foothills near Calgary.

Citation

Page Citation for Acronicta radcliffei

Page Citation

"Acronicta radcliffei, University of Alberta E.H. Strickland Entomological Museum." University of Alberta Museums Search Site, https://search.museums.ualberta.ca/g/2-4544. Accessed 25 Jul. 2021.

Taxonomic Hierarchy

Kingdom Animalia Phylum Arthropoda Class Hexapoda Subclass Insecta Order Lepidoptera Suborder Ditrysia Superfamily Noctuoidea Family Noctuidae Subfamily Acronictinae Genus Acronicta Species Acronicta radcliffei
This hierarchy is created from our museum records, it may not always accurately reflect modern taxonomies.

Taxonomic Hierarchy for University of Alberta E.H. Strickland Entomological Museum