|scientific name Acronicta superans |
common name Splendid Dagger Moth
Deciduous and mixedwood forest, shrub lands and urban plantations.
Adults have been collected in Alberta from late May through July.
A medium-large moth (4-4.5 cm wingspan). The forewings are broad, pale grey and black with the grey areas most extensive around the orbicular and reniform spots. There is characteristic tuft of pale yellow or orange scales on the lower edge of the forewing base. The hind wings are gray brown, with an indistinct discal dot and a somewhat darker post median band. The antennae are simple, and the sexes are alike. Not likely to be mistaken for any other Alberta moth.
The Splendid dagger moth is a solitary defoliator. There appears to be a single annual brood, which over-winters in the pupal stage. The adults come to light.
: The Splendid dagger moth is a solitary defoliator. There appears to be a single annual brood, which over-winters in the pupal stage. The adults come to light.
A widespread species; no concerns.
No Alberta data. Hosts reported from elsewhere in Canada include Mountain-ash (Sorbus), White Birch (Betula papyrifera), pin-cherry (Prunus pennsylvanica), and apple (Malus sp.)
Newfoundland west to the foothills of Alberta; south to eastern Kentucky. The Splendid dagger moth appears to have extended its range westward into Alberta very recently. Bowman collected in the Edmonton area for almost 50 years and failed to record it. The first Alberta specimens were apparently taken at both Olds and Edmonton in 1995; since then it has been collected annually in Edmonton and found at a number of locations throughout central Alberta, north to Lac la Biche, and south west to the
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