||Hugh D. McGuinness
Family: Owlet Moths (Noctuidae)
State Rarity Rank:
Global Rarity Rank:
Did you know?
As a defense strategy, caterpillars of many cutworms and darts (species in the subfamily Noctuinae), such as the violet dart, often curl into a "C" and fall to the ground when they are disturbed. Since most species in this subfamily eat a variety of plants, it is usually easy for the caterpillars to find another plant on which to feed afterwards (Wagner et al. 2008).
|State Ranking Justification||
Six populations of the violet dart have been documented in New York State since 1987. The species occurs in sandy coastal habitats in the East (Covell 1984). In New York State, it is likely restricted to Long Island. Additional surveys are needed to better understand its status and distribution.
The short-term trend for the violet dart seems to be stable. At the two populations surveyed in multiple years, moths were captured in all survey years, indicating the populations are viable and reproducing. The other four documented populations have been surveyed only once.
The long-term trend for the violet dart is unknown. There is a historical record of the moth from Long Island in 1900 (Buckett 1966). However, its distribution and status in historic times compared to the present is unknown.