Squash Vine Borer

Subject: interesting flying red-orange bug with blue/grey vest
Location: Wisconsin, USA
June 26, 2016 9:32 pm
Hello bugman!
I encountered this guy earlier today buzzing around my milkweed and cucumbers. He was moving pretty quick just like the bees around him.
He/she was approximately 3/4″ long. Red orange in color with bright blue stripes closer the head. I’ve never seen another bug like it.
Asked a few friends and everyone is perplexed and very curious to know.
Thanks for your time. Can’t wait to find out what it might be!
Signature: Kelly

Squash Vine Borer
Squash Vine Borer

Dear Kelly,
This Squash Vine Borer is a moth from the family Sesiidae, a group that contains moths that benefit from their ability to mimic stinging wasps.  Your individual was visiting the milkweed to take nourishment from the nectar, but we believe this is a female due to her interest in the cucumbers.  She was probably laying eggs that will hatch into larvae that bore in the stems of squash and other plants in the family Cucurbitaceae, potentially causing the plants to die or at least reduce the yield.

Thank you so much for your quick response! I would have never guessed it was a vine borer! I will have to get out there and inspect my cucumber plant. It was a beautiful bug though. Too bad they are destructive.

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