Subject: Moth for ID
Location: Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
June 21, 2014 12:17 pm
Well I looked at many websites to identify this orange and metallic blue wasplike moth I’ve recently seen on potato plants, but no luck! The leg uppers are heavily furred while the lower parts are black with white rings. The rear legs are heavily furred the entire length. Wings are slender metallic blue-black. It flies fast but can also hover. This picture was taken in Stittsville, Ontario on June 21, 2014. Thanks in advance for looking!
Do you also have squash or pumpkin plants in your garden? This is a Squash Vine Borer, Melittia cucurbitae, a diurnal species in the Clearwing family Sesiidae, a family that includes many species that mimic wasps very effectively. The larvae are borers that will severely compromise the health of plants in the squash family Cucurbitaceae by boring in the stems.
Thanks so much for the ID! Of course, yes I had squash vine borers last year on my squashes- I completely forgot what they looked like. Thanks again, I’ll keep an eye out for the eggs and damage. Last year I buried the squash leaf nodes which helped root the plant along the ground. Nevertheless, there were a lot of very large grubs in the stems which were needled to kill them.