Family Noctuidae Hodges # 9244
Caterpillar foods: red and white oak (Bugguide)
Name has changed from Acronicta haesitata to Acronicta modica.
Owlet Caterpillars of North America has a section about ‘Oak Daggers’ (p. 276). Caterpillars of this group of daggers are very varied and possibly indistinguishable. They include A. albarufa, A. exilis, A. haesitata, A. increta, A. modica, A. ovata, A. tristis in this group. For a long time I wasn’t sure about even the ID of the adult. Thanks to Hugh McGuinness for helping confirm the adult ID.
I found this caterpillar eating oak – one of the black oaks – Red, Black or Hill’s Oak. (I didn’t record the species and I can’t quite tell from the photos.)
8/4/2009 with lacy leaf damage
8/4/2009 with oak leaf
9/27/2009 burrowed in wood – hole covered with wood bits
I kept it in the frig for the winter, and the adult emerged on 6/6/2010
I reared another caterpillar, also from oak, that I think is the same species. Here’s the link to that life cycle.