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Dagger Moth Caterpillar. Photographed in Pennsylvania.

Single frame. Canon 80D, Canon MPE lens, Canon twin flash, Aperture f/11, shutter speed 1/250, ISO 400.

American Dagger Moth (Acronicta americana)

 

These caterpillars may appear cute and fuzzy, but they are toxic. When a person comes into contact with the hairs of an American Dagger Moth, the hairs break off of the caterpillar and embed into the skin of the person. These hairs are connected to glands just below the surface of the caterpillar's skin which produce toxins known to cause a variety of skin irritations.

 

Thank you so much for your visits, faves and comments!

 

Psi-uilrups - Grey Dagger Moth caterpillar (Acronicta psi)

Thorhild County. Alberta.

 

Yesterday I posted a shot of a Barred Owl on a fence post that had a caterpillar on it. I sent the image to U of A Entomologist John Acorn for an explanation and identification. Several contacts have asked for an update. John went out and collected it today. Here is his reply:

 

"The caterpillar has been dead for some time, killed by parasites. There are multiple exit holes where parasites emerged from the host's body. Most of the hairs (setae) have worn off, so it is not easy to recognize, but I think it is probably Acronicta dactylica, the Fingered Dagger Moth."

Engelmann Woods Natural Area, St Louis Missouri

I was delighted to find this beautifully camouflaged grey dagger moth hiding in a crevice of an old weathered wooden post. It was intriguing to note that its wing markings were very similar to the cracks in the wood.

The jury is out on this moth - could be Acronicta psi or Acronicta Tridens (Dark Dagger).

Ruddy Dagger Moth caterpillar (Acronicta rubricoma). Mt. Pleasant, Howard County Conservancy, Maryland.

'Found this huge and lovely American Dagger Moth caterpillar chillin' on a leaf, yellow hair all blowin' in the breezes ... <3

Smile y'all! The weekend is almost here ツ

At 35mm, this striking Grey Dagger moth caterpillar is almost full grown and will soon pupate within a cocoon for overwintering. Adults fly during June and July and are attracted to light and sugar. They are widespread and fairly common over much of England and Wales.

 

This Noctuidae larva has a distinctive yellow dorsal stripe and tall fleshy hump on the fourth segment. It was found feeding on a shrub in a neighbour's garden.

A Grey Dagger Moth caterpillar munching its way along my front garden hedge!

Always one of my favorite caterpillar finds, due to its outrageous appearance, I found this guy in the first five minutes of my hike yesterday at the newly reopened Blakeley State Park!

 

Happy Earth Day, everyone!🌄🌿♻🌻🐧🐙🐬🐝🐌

Today is the 50th anniversary of Earth Day, and it's emphasis on the urgent need for a balanced relationship between mankind and the world's ecosystems...

What a cool caterpillar. Never seen one like this before. After photographing him I stayed to ensure he had a safe crossing before continuing on my way.

 

Grindstone Marsh / RBG

Burlington, ON.

Grey Dagger ( Acronicta psi).

Found on Nasturtium leaves with dozens of Large White caterpillars.

Malahide, Dublin, Ireland.

 

As always, I am open to correction on moth/caterpillar ID!

Wagner describes this amazing Funerary Dagger Moth as Flamboyant. One of the most amazing caterpillars I've ever seen. This year has been amazing with this large install being the third one I've found.

Found this American Dagger Moth caterpillar starting to climb onto our front door. Gently redirected it back onto the flat concrete porch a few inches beneath it. It then quickly crawled onto the bricks along the front of the house, then high up the wall. Couldn't find it when I went back a short time later. It moved quite quickly making getting sharp photos as it crawled toward me with my macro lens a bit tricky with such a shallow DOF.

This caterpillar will turn into a Smeared Dagger Moth

 

Patapsco Valley State Park

Howard County, Maryland

With political smears thick in the air with the election just a little over a couple of weeks away, I was highly surprised to see a smear of another kind yesterday at Meaher State Park! You could've knocked me over with a feather when I found this Smeared Dagger Moth cat in mid-October! I'd only seen them in the March-early June timeframe before...I never knew they had a Fall season! It was a middle instar on Goldenrod and it sure got my vote for coolest find of the day! Talk about an October surprise!

I was glad to find this week's second Long-winged Dagger cat at Splinter Hill yesterday...it was a younger instar than the previous one, and a fiery red in color!

This colorful reddish Long-winged Dagger was my first find of the day on Thursday at the Upper Delta...in a bit of perfect timing, Karen arrived just as I found it, so she could get shots, too!

 

I'm meeting my dear friend Chaney at the Upper Delta this morning on another magnificent cool May morning...she's finished with her week of virtual teaching her kindergarten class, and ready to hit the trails and I hope all of the caterpillar finds that Karen and I made Thursday will still be around for Chaney! Then we're headed up to hike the Forever Wild tract at Splinter Hill...we need to max out this cool weather while it lasts! Wish us luck, and have a glorious Mother's Day weekend, everyone!

Usually I only get to see a couple of these striking beauties per year, but have already found four this month!

Hey everyone! I hope your weekend has been a great one! After hiking for hours without finding much, we had a stroke of luck at our second location, Bicentennial Park, when Chaney spotted five of these first encounter Smeared Dagger Moth cats on Weeping Willows, along with about 20 tiny first instars recently hatched as well! They are also called Smartweed Caterpillars...an exciting find for the last day of Winter!

 

Have a wonderful week ahead, everyone!

An annual sighting now it seems!

The Cliffe - Shropshire

He looks soft and fluffy, but don't touch. Those "hairs" they release toxins when touched.

Usually found curled up in a sleeping position under a leaf, I occasionally find a Charred Dagger stretching its legs on top of a leaf...

Most of my photos are closer up than this, but I was intrigued by getting the caterpillar on the leaf and its exuvia (cast skin) at the bottom right in the same picture.

Acronicta lobeliae - found on oak. Greater Oak Dagger also known as Lobelia Dagger.

Saw this little fella crawling around in the garden and managed to get a pretty good macro of him in spite of his unwillingness to stay still.

 

Thanks for visiting my Photostream and for your faves and comments

Unbelievable! My Dagger in the afternoon! I just got him a new Boxelder branch.

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