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Grey dagger (moth)

Grey dagger (moth)
Photo Information
Copyright: Paul van Slooten (pvs) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1127 W: 254 N: 3161] (14464)
Genre: Animals
Medium: Color
Date Taken: 2006-07-26
Categories: Insects
Camera: Konica Minolta Dynax 7D, Minolta AF 200 mm / f:4 macro APO G, Digital RAW 200
Exposure: f/20.0, 1/125 seconds
Details: Tripod: Yes (Fill) Flash: Yes
More Photo Info: [view]
Photo Version: Original Version
Theme(s): European caterpilars [view contributor(s)]
Date Submitted: 2006-10-15 4:42
Viewed: 3140
Points: 30
[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note
Here a picture I made last summer in our garden,I thought it was a quite colorfull caterpillar and got a strange horn on his back,after some investigaition I foud that it is a caterpillar of the grey dagger moth.

The Grey Dagger (Acronicta psi) is a moth of the family Noctuidae. It is distributed throughout Europe.

This species has grey forewings with bold black dagger-shaped markings. The hindwings are dirty grey, generally paler in the male. The wingspan is 34-45 mm. This moth is very similar to the Dark Dagger (Acronicta tridens) and identification is generally only possible by minute examination of the genitalia. However, in general this moth is generally darker in colour than the Dark Dagger and always lacks the white hindwings often present in the male of that species. The larvae of the two species are very different (see below). The Grey Dagger flies at night from June to August [1] and is attracted to light and sometimes to sugar.

The larva is whitish below and black above with red spots and a bold yellow stripe along the back. It has a distinctive horn just behind the head (absent from the larva of Dark Dagger). It feeds on a wide range of plants, mainly trees and shrubs (see list below). The species overwinters as a pupa.

Thanks for watching,

cataclysta, ramthakur, uleko, wkshelton, horia, blakitan, SkyF, Argus, metcher, vhemmati, Christopher_PL has marked this note useful
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Critiques [Translate]

Great photo. A buckground a little bit disturbing. Probably Chris Jonko (Christopher PL) is waiting for another european caterpillar to his Theme :-)

Hi Paul!
This caterpillar is truly amazing to look at. It is so colourful and hairy and has a horn too!
Wonderful perspective with everything spot on in this picture. You have also used the flash to great effect.
Well done and TFS.

  • Great 
  • uleko Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 3396 W: 172 N: 3310] (10940)
  • [2006-10-15 7:23]

Hello Paul,
Excellent shot of the Grey Dagger caterpillar. It's amazing how the caterpillar is often more striking and colourful than the moth. Good composition.
TFS, Ulla

Hello Paul,

excellent colurs, Bg, POV DOF Perfect details, very crisp, nicly composed photo

TFS Kyle

Very detail, nice colour, compo, good frame.

  • Great 
  • horia Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2158 W: 224 N: 4749] (16656)
  • [2006-10-15 10:06]

Hi Paul

Great shot of this hairy caterpillar!
The textures and details are amazing!
Very nice lighting you managed here! Lovely colors, POV and DOF. Well framed and composed, too.

Bravo and TFS

Hallo Paul,
Superb shot, very sharp, great details, and neat. I like the color of this hairy caterpillar. Great DoF.

Ben Lakitan

bonjour paul
presntation ageable et colorée de cette chenille.
vous avez reussi a l'identifiée ce qui n'est pas une chose facile.

  • Great 
  • SkyF Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2234 W: 188 N: 1912] (8073)
  • [2006-10-15 12:37]

Hi Paul,
very nice diagonal composition. The colors and details are sharp and crisp. A very nice POV to see many of the interesting details.
Very well done.

  • Great 
  • Argus Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 5038 W: 260 N: 15594] (50626)
  • [2006-10-15 13:14]

Hello Paul,
Excellent sharp and detailed macro of this caterpillar. Some of the fine long hairs show up well against the dark part of the BG.
Well done1
TFS, regards, Ivan

Hi, Paul.
Great macro. Nice caterpillar with last fashion hair. Good exposure, sharpness and colors.

Excellent macro, love the detail.


Hello Paul !
Really a strange caterpillar, with this horn on his back - looks like a very small caterpillar in itself. Excellent sharpness and details, beautiful colors and composition, excellent POV, and a very interesting note. Very well done !

Hi Paul,

Very interesting creature you captured. Good details and sharpness.



Excellent shot of this small but colorfull caterpilar. Great sharpness and colours. TFS


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