Subject: Bees Wasps
Location: Soham Cambridgeshire UK
May 3, 2013 3:47 pm
I saw this bug on a tree in Soham Cambridgeshire UK almost a year ago.
I have had no way of uploading the picture till now as not had a computer.
It was a lovely sunny day in June of last year 2012.
It is about an inch in length, with a blue band around it;s’ middle. I have
never seen one of these before and was wondering if it is a rare species to this country
or it may have got lost on its travels. I didn’t notice any stinger on it.
If you could help I would be most appreciated.
Signature: Nick Halliday
This clever little mimic could fool most folks. This is not a bee nor a wasp. It is a Hornet Moth, Sesia apiformis, a moth that mimics a stinging hornet as a means of protective coloration. According to UK Moths: “Rather similar to the Lunar Hornet Moth, this species can easily be distinguished by the yellow head and tegulae. It has a more southerly distribution than that species, rarely being encountered north of the Midlands. The larvae burrow into the wood of black poplar (Populus nigra), and other species of poplar. The moths emerge in June and July, and can be found low down on the trunks in early to mid morning.” The Hornet Moth is in the family Sesiidae, the Clearwings, which includes many species with similar protective coloration and markings.