|scientific name Acronicta mansueta |
common name Gentle Dagger Moth
Dry deciduous woodland and tall shrub.
In Alberta adults have been collected from mid-June through early September.
A relatively small (3.0-3.2 cm wingspan) narrow-winged dagger-moth with clean blue-grey forewings and shining white hindwings. The black basal streak is long and thin, forking both up and down toward the wing margins. The orbicular and reniform spots are outlined in black scales and filled with paler scales. The antemedian and postmedian lines are well marked and doubled, and the postmedian line in particular is filled with light scales. The "dagger-mark" in the anal angle is prominent, and in some specimens there are rusty-brown scales. The lower third of the forewings is suffused with blackish scales, giving the wing a two-toned appearance. The hindwings are shining white, darkening slightly along the margin and with some dark scaling along the veins, particularly in females. The antennae are simple in both sexes.
The Gentle Dagger Moth is a solitary defoliator of deciduous trees or shrubs. The adults come to both light and sugar bait. The extended flight period in southern Alberta is undoubtedly the result of more than one annual brood.
This little dagger moth has been collected mainly in riparian woodlands along the river valleys of the plains in southern Alberta. It was not listed for Alberta by Bowman (1951).
A widespread but uncommon species. No obvious concerns.
No Alberta (or Canadian) data. Elsewhere, Prunus subcordata has been listed as a larval host, and one or more of the native cherries (Prunus sp). are the probable host in Alberta as well.
Widespread in western North America, from southern SK west to southern BC, and south to at least Colorado and California. In Alberta the Gentle Dagger Moth occurs in wooded and shrubby areas, especially in riparian woodlands, throughout the arid Grasslands region, north to at least the lower Red Deer River.
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