Subject: Beautiful bug, what is it
Location: Western Washington state
June 9, 2017 7:55 pm
This bug was found in western Washington state. Would like to know what it is.
Signature: Mike Keeney

Western Poplar Clearwing

Dear Mike,
Your moth, a Western Poplar Clearwing,
Paranthrene robiniae, is a member of a family of moths that includes numerous individuals that are very effective wasp mimics, which affords them a degree of protection against predators.  You can verify our identification by comparing your image to images on the Moth Photographers Group and on BugGuide.  According to BugGuide:  “colored almost exactly like a paper wasp. Mostly yellow, first three abdominal segments black. Head is black, with yellow facial scales. FW orange brown with darker veins; HW clear with a deep yellow discal mark, fringed with dark brown scales. Antennae of males are bipectinate, simple in females.”   It should be noted that there is considerable variation in the abdominal markings of individuals pictured online.

Location: Western Washington

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