Sycamore Borer

Subject: Cross between butterfly and bee
Location: Encinitas, California
May 23, 2014 10:24 am
I found this bug outside on my truck. I have never seen anything like it before. Do you know what it is?
Thank you!
Signature: Lucille

Hornet Moth
Sycamore Borer

Hi Lucille,
Your insect is a moth in the family Sesiidae, the Clearwing Moths, and many members of the family, including your individual, are excellent mimics of hornets and wasps.  Your individual resembles the American Hornet Moth,
Sesia tibiale, which is pictured on BugGuide, however, we cannot say for certain if we have correctly identified your individual as the American Hornet Moth.  Your individual appears to have some yellow scales on the wings and there is a tufted abdomen, features that appear to be lacking in the American Hornet Moth.  We continued searching revealed a much better match, the Sycamore Borer, Synanthedon resplendens, which we located on The Moths Photogragher and then verified on BugGuide where it states:  “Larval hosts: prefered – Platanus racemosa (California sycamore); also used – Quercus agrifolia (Coast live oak); occasionally avacado.”  The larvae are wood borers.

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