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Northern Prairie Wildlife Research Center

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Caterpillars of Eastern Forests

Hesitant Dagger Moth Complex (Acronicta haesitata complex)

JPG-Photo of Hesitant Dagger Moth Complex

Green-, yellow-, orange-, or pink-brown with white setae along sides of body. Head pinkish tan, mottled. Dorsum of last thoracic and anterior abdominal segments with irregular white blotches and interrupted middorsal stripe. Rear segments with yellowish subdorsal splotches. Rests with head against side of abdomen in leaf shelter. Several closely related dagger moths—A. albarufa, A. inclara, A. increta, A. modica, and A. ovata—also on oaks with similarly marked caterpillars. Food: oaks. Caterpillar: June to October; 1 generation in North.

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