Acronicta falcula
Corylus dagger moth

Key Characteristics

Dagger moths are named for the dagger-like mark near the forewing (i.e., upper wing) outer margin. Adult dagger moths are similar but many of the larvae are quite different. The Corylus dagger moth is a medium-sized (1.6 in [4.2 cm] wingspan) dark purple-gray moth. The forewings are gray or grayish brown and contain dark, thin, dagger-like marks or dashes.

Status and Rank

  • State Status: SC
  • State Rank: S2S3
  • Global Rank: G2G4


County NameNumber of OccurrencesYear Last Observed
Distribution map for Acronicta falcula

Updated 5/15/2018. Information is summarized from MNFI's database of rare species and community occurrences. Data may not reflect true distribution since much of the state has not been thoroughly surveyed.


Little is known about this species' life history and ecology. The Corylus dagger moth is associated with lowland hardwoods and mesic hardwoods, and its larval host plant is hazelnut, Corylus sp. The species has been documented from southern Michigan, but additional surveys are needed to assess this species' distribution, status and habitat needs in Michigan.

Specific Habitat Needs

Host plant needed in Southern hardwood swamp, Floodplain forest, Mesic southern forest

Natural Community Types


For each species, lists of natural communities were derived from review of the nearly 6,500 element occurrences in the MNFI database, in addition to herbarium label data for some taxa. In most cases, at least one specimen record exists for each listed natural community. For certain taxa, especially poorly collected or extirpated species of prairie and savanna habitats, natural community lists were derived from inferences from collection sites and habitat preferences in immediately adjacent states (particularly Indiana and Illinois). Natural communities are not listed for those species documented only from altered or ruderal habitats in Michigan, especially for taxa that occur in a variety of habitats outside of the state.

Natural communities are not listed in order of frequency of occurrence, but are rather derived from the full set of natural communities, organized by Ecological Group. In many cases, the general habitat descriptions should provide greater clarity and direction to the surveyor. In future versions of the Rare Species Explorer, we hope to incorporate natural community fidelity ranks for each taxon.


Little is known about the status, distribution, life history and ecology of this species. Due to lack of scientific knowledge about this species, threats facing this species are unknown. Thus, specific management recommendations can not be provided at this time. Surveys and research are needed to assess this species' abundance, distribution, life history, ecology and threats. Sites at which this species has been documented should be protected and maintained. Adequate suitable habitat at known sites should be maintained including sufficient densities of the species' host plant. Long-term preservation of the habitats with which this species is associated require maintenance and/or restoration of natural disturbance regimes and other ecological processes that lead to establishment and maintenance of these natural communities (Cohen 2004, Tepley et al. 2004).

Active Period

Flight from fourth week of May to third week of August

Survey Methods

The best way to survey for this species is by blacklighting, a technique where a sheet is stretched across two trees or poles and an ultraviolet light is used to attract moths to the sheet. Moths can be collected directly from the sheet. Insects come to light usually in largest numbers on still, dark, cloudy nights when both temperature and humidity are high. This species is difficult to identify in the wild. It is strongly recommended that observations of this species be verified through actual specimen vouchers or verification by a species expert.

Page Citation

Michigan Natural Features Inventory. 2007. Rare Species Explorer (Web Application). Available online at [Accessed Sep 23, 2018]


Survey References

Technical References

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