Terrifying Orange Hornet(?)
October 8, 2009
I spotted two of these orange flyers today in my backyard garden in Austin, Texas. They were buzzing around my zucchini plant(hopefully pollinating it in the process). They seemed a lot more interested in the plant than in me, yet due to my wildly irrational fear of stinging insects, I was petrified. I only managed to get a few shots before the buzzed away for good. I tried to identify them online but haven’t had any luck. Any idea on the species?
This is not a hornet. It is a moth that mimics a hornet for protection. It is a Squash Vine Borer, and the larvae will bore in the stems of squash and pumpkin vines, causing the plants to wither.
Thank you so much for the heads up. Before I had only heard of the Squash Bug as a pest to look out for around my squash vine. After I got your email, I read up on the Vine Borer, went out in the garden and saw the telltale signs that of the borers inside. I did some surgery with a knife and tweezers and pulled out a big fat borer larva…it’s a fairly small plant so I’m hoping it was the only one. Thank you so much for your help, you’re a lifesaver! -John