The Moths of Suffolk
2283 Dark Dagger, Acronicta tridens, (Denis & Schiffermüller, 1775)

National Status : Common

Local Status : Resident (SMP Status 3G)

Distribution and abundance : Local

Habitats : Various; woodland, fens and gardens

Flight Period : Single-brooded; late June to July. Reported occasional partial second generation September to October does not appear to have been noted in the county

Larval foodplants : Various broad-leaved trees and shrubs

Comments : Possibly under-recorded as an adult due to the need to examine the genitalia to differentiate from Grey Dagger

Morley's Final Catalogue : Referring to Dark Dagger and Grey Dagger The former, which was bred at Falkenham in May 1900 (Mly), is usually considered the rarer; but its British distribution centres here, so in Suffolk they appear equally frequent and widespread from Ipswich to Gorleston and Bury: no Breck records.

Wingspan details : Forewing 17-20mm, Wingspan 35-43mm

Identification

Confusion species
    AdultGrey Dagger, Acronicta psi

Compare confusion species
    Adult

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ex larva on Blackthorn (Prunus spinosa) - Wytham Wood, Oxfordshire (14.x.2012) © A Prichard

Flight chart
JFMAMJJASOND
10 20 100

Life history chart
JFMAMJJASOND
pupa pupa pupa pupa pupa imago ovaimago larva larva larvapupa pupa pupa

Further Photographs

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Beaten from Blackthorn (Prunus spinosa) - Cransford, Suffolk (23.viii.2009) © A Prichard
Beaten from Blackthorn (Prunus spinosa) - Cransford, Suffolk (23.viii.2009) © A Prichard
Beaten from Blackthorn (Prunus spinosa) - Cransford, Suffolk (23.viii.2009) © A Prichard
 
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Found on Wild cherry - Pound Farm, Great Glemham, Suffolk (15.ix.2013) © Neil Sherman