Dark Dagger - Acronicta tridens

    Description

    Wingspan 35 to 45 mm. The adult moth cannot be readily distinguished from Grey Dagger except by examination of the genitalia, although in the caterpillar stage this is not a problem as the species look quite different.

    Habitat

    Various habitats, especially where the larval foodplants are present.

    When to see it

    The moths fly in June and July.

    Life History

    The larvae feed in the autumn on a range of trees and shrubs such as Hawthorn and Blackthorn.

    UK Status

    It is widespread in England and Wales, though less common than Grey Dagger, although its true status is perhaps clouded by the identification issue. In a recent survey to determine the status of all macro moths in Britain this species was classified as common.

    VC55 Status

    Occasional in Leicestershire and Rutland. L&R Moth Group status = C (very scarce resident or rare migrant) although lack of records may be due to the need for genitalia examination to determine the species.

    Reference
    73.037 BF2283

    Leicestershire & Rutland Map

    UK Map