About a weird red bug on my pumpkin stems
Location: Pittsburgh Pennsylvania
June 26, 2011 1:43 pm
this morning I noticed a weird red bug that looked like a cross between a beetle and a wasp that was fully bright red with several black dots down its abdomen. The abdomen curled up just like a bee’s does when it’s pollinating, and its wings were pretty large and totally black. But the front of its body resembles a beetle shape. I am attaching the few pics I was able to take before it flew away. We have a small garden, but everytime it flew away and came back it went right back to the pumpkin stems at the bottom near the dirt and seemed to be stabbing the thickest part of the stem like a bee pollinates flowers.I have never seen anything like this insect before and was wondering if you could help identify it. Was wondering if it was good or bad for the pumpkin plant.
Signature: Cheri Fazio
This is a Squash Vine Borer in the family Sesiidae, the Clearwing Moths are are wasp mimics. The behavior you describe is consistent with that of a female ovipositing, or laying eggs. The larvae bore in the stems of plants in the squash family including pumpkin and melons.