Number 88 • April 15, 2011 • Jeffrey K. Barnes

Maple clearwing moth
Order: Lepidoptera
Family: Sesiidae
Genus and species: Synanthedon acerrubri Englehardt

Maple clearwing moth

Moths of the family Sesiidae are called clearwing moths due to the dearth of scales on one or both pairs of long, narrow wings, which lends the insects a striking resemblance to wasps. Unlike most moths, sesiids are generally active during the daytime, furthering their mimicry of wasps. Larvae of most species in the genus Synanthedon bore in trunks, stems, or roots of trees and shrubs. Some feed in stems and roots of herbaceous plants, and some invade galls caused by other arthropods. Synanthedon acerrubri larvae bore in various species of maples, usually tunneling under the bark of branches. They pupate in spring in cocoons made of wood ships and frass situated near the bark surface. There is one generation each year, and adults fly from spring through mid summer.