What is this? I was told it was Stump F—er
April 25, 2010
What is this? I was told it was Stump F—er
I live in California, this bug was on my floor today, it could fly a little.
Mill Valley, CA

Wasp Moth:  Douglas Fir Pitch Moth???

Hi Jody,
This is actually a moth in the family Sessiidae, the members of which are commonly called Clearwing Moths or Wasp Moths, and they are very effective mimics of wasps.  The larvae bore in the stems, roots and sometimes trunks of host plants, often causing severe damage if the plant’s ability to transport moisture and nutrients is compromised.  The person who supplied you with the colorful edited common name may be able to point you in the direction of the host plant which may help with a species identification.  We believe your moth is in the genus Carmenta based on images posted to BugGuide and the Moth Photographers Group website.

Thanks for the information. I did ask my friend who has a degree in forestry, what sort of trees this moth likes and he said Oaks, Bay, Fir and Redwood..I have all of those!

Thanks for the additional information Jody.  We believe your moth looks very similar to the Douglas Fir Pitch Moth, Synanthedon novaroensis, which is pictured on BugGuide and mentioned on the University of California Agriculture and Natural Resources Statewide Integrated Pest Management Program UC IPM Online.  A live specimen is picture on the pdf on the University of Washington College of Forest Resources website.  The living specimen pictured on the Moth Photographers Group website is a very close match, and we are relatively confident that you submitted an image of a Douglas Fir Pitch Moth.

Location: California

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