Western Poplar Clearwing

Please help identify
I am from Southern Idaho (Jerome) and found these two beautiful insects feasting in my garden (well they aren’t feasting in the picture but they will probably be hungry after) anyway – I don’t know what they are? Horneyts? Flies? Squash Bugs? I didn’t write you right away because I was afraid I would receive a "boy your a dummy" response but I searched and searched and didn’t find this insect on your site. Close, but not exact markings. Can you help? Thank you so much for your time. I know you are very busy! Thank you,
Cindy Flowers

Hi Cindy,
We are going to begin by gently chastising you because we were hurt by your implication that we would call you a dummy when you have a legitimate question. It should be apparent that we answer the same question repeatedly (just look at our Dobsonfly pages) and we have even had to identify many times this month our July Bug of the Month, the Cecropia Moth, despite it being posted at the top of our home page. Your Wasp Mimic Clearwing Moths in the family Sesiidae challenged us. We found two possibilities on BugGuide that did not fully convince us, so we turned to the Moth Photographers Group where Paranthrene robiniae looked correct. Then we returned to BugGuide with that name and located the common name of Western Poplar Clearwing, but not too much in the way of information. We then found an excellent Forest Pest page that profiles your lovely moths because the larvae are borers in the wood of willows and poplars and extreme infestations can be very damaging to trees. Your photo is also quite beautiful and we would have been thrilled to receive it even if this wasn’t a new species for our site.

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