“Yellow Jacket” Moth
Here is a moth that looks just like a yellow jacket. It even has a fake yellow jacket mouth. Hope you enjoy!
Eagle River, AK
We recently met a lepidopterist, Julian P. Donohue, who specializes in Wasp Moths. We will see if he can give us an exact species on this Wasp Moth. Here is what Julian wrote back: “Hi Daniel, The moth is indeed a wasp moth, family Sesiidae (formerly called Aegeriidae). All my references for this family are at the Museum, so I can’t begin to start putting a name on it. Where it was found would be a major help–there are many species that are very similar in appearance, but all don’t occur in the same places. The larvae of all are borers in roots and stems of various plants. The hostplant may be specific for a particular species, while other species feed as larvae on a variety of different plants. Some are severe pests of horticultural, ornamental, and agricultural crops. In the last two decades great strides have been made in studying the distribution and taxonomy of this family, using traps with synthetic pheromones as an attractant (most are dayfliers and very difficult to collect with a net–if you can even see them!). The pheromones were originally developed for use with sticky traps to detect the presence of pest species (e.g., peach tree borer), so growers would know when (and whether) to institute control measures. In haste, Julian “