Currently viewing the category: "Clearwings"
What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Friend or Foe?
Location: Southern Plains
August 26, 2013 4:54 pm
I was outside tending to my raised bed vegetable gardens last week when I encountered this fascinating bug. It hovered over my yellow squash and cucumber plants several times so I was able to grab my camera and get at least one good picture of it. I’ve never seen anything like it so I’m curious to know what it is and if it is a beneficial garden predator.
Signature: PlanetZoo

Squash Vine Borer

Squash Vine Borer

Dear PlanetZoo,
This is a Squash Vine Borer, a moth that mimics a wasp.  The larvae bore in the stems of squash and other related plants including cucumbers, so we have to go with foe in the vegetable garden.

Thank you ever so much for your quick reply and help!
I have much to learn yet about the fascinating world of bugs and veggie gardening, as well as how best to navigate your invaluable website!
Hope you have a great day.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Milkweed visitor
Location: Chicago Area
July 27, 2013 8:35 am
I live just outside of the Chicago area and had this visitor at my milkweed in the beginning of July. This bug was a fast mover and didn’t stick around too long. I have just never seen anything like it. Just curious and would appreciate help! Thanks so much!
Signature: Gina Parks

Squash Vine Borer

Squash Vine Borer

Dear Gina,
These are marvelous action photos of a Squash Vine Borer,
Melittia cucurbitae, a moth that is a very effective wasp mimic.  Normally we get photos of them with squash plants as the female lays eggs on the plants and the larvae bore in the stems of squash and related plants, including cucumbers.  You can read more about the Squash Vine Borer on BugGuide.

Squash Vine Borer

Squash Vine Borer

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: could this also be a scarlet bodied wasp moth
Location: edmonton alberta canada
June 22, 2013 2:02 pm
Hello, I found this guy sitting on the concrete in my back yard in Edmonton Alberta, Canada. These pictures were taken June 22nd 2013 on partially rainy partially sunny days.
Signature: kk

Douglas Fir Pitch Moth

Douglas Fir Pitch Moth

Dear kk,
We believe we have correctly identified your Douglas Fir Pitch Moth,
Synanthedon novaroensis, from the Clearwing family Sesiidae, another group of wasp mimic moths.  You can see one of the few other images of a live specimen on the Moth Photographers Group website.  For more information, see this online article.

Douglas Fir Pitch Moth

Douglas Fir Pitch Moth

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Colorful bug found in yard
Location: Northern Illinois
June 15, 2013 10:40 am
Found this guy chilling on a tree growing in my backyard before I mowed. Took the picture and then shooed him out of the way so that he wouldn’t become one with the lawnmower.
Signature: Bogie

Squash Vine Borer

Squash Vine Borer

Dear Bogie,
Do you have a vegetable patch in your backyard and are you growing zucchini or some other plants in the squash family?  This is a moth known as a Squash Vine Borer,
Melittia cucurbitae.  The female lays her eggs on the stems of plants in the squash family and the larva bores into the stems of the plant, often doing killing the plant.  See this image from BugGuide of the larvae.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Bees Wasps
Location: Soham Cambridgeshire UK
May 3, 2013 3:47 pm
Dear Sir.
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

Hornet Moth

Hornet Moth:  Sesia apiformis

Dear Nick,
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.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Synanthedon exitiosa?
Location: Nashville, TN
September 16, 2012 8:56 pm
We think this a type of borer. The closest our bug guide has is a Peach Tree Borer; Synanthedon exitiosa. It’s not a perfect match. Can you help us identify this bug?
Signature: Jennifer

Clematis Borer

Dear Jennifer,
Though your species identification is incorrect, we are impressed that you came so close with this difficult identification.  You are correct that this is a Borer in the Clearwing Moth family Sesiidae, a group known for excellent mimicry of wasps.  They are often called Wasp Moths.  This is a Clematis Borer,
Alcathoe carolinensis, and we identified it on BugGuide.  The Clematis Borer and the Peach Tree Borer are both in the same tribe, Synanthedonini, so they are very closely related, hence they share similar physical attributes.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination