|Squash Vine Borer Moth - Melittia satyriniformis |
Family: Sesiidae - Clearwing Moths
Insects & Spiders | Moths Index | Moths | Butterflies Main | Butterflies Index | Skippers
The only place I've seen the squash vine borer adult moth is nectaring on milkweed flowers
The Sesiidae are commonly called clearwing moths because of their wings' lack of the usual Lepidopteran scales makes them transparent. The bodies are generally striped with yellow or orange and they have simple antennae. It is thought these moths are Batesian mimics or wasps and hornets. The adult moths have long, narrow front wings and shorter, wider hind wings. The hindwings, and in some species the front wings are transparent. These moths fly during the day and at twilight.
Adult clearwings are known to enhance their mimicry of wasps by intermittently running while rapidly vibrating their wings. 
The larvae of the Sesiidae are typically wood-borers, or burrow in plant roots. Many species are serious pests of fruit-tree or timber cultivation, or crop plants (e.g. Melittia spp. on squash) (Edwards et al., 1999). The Sesiidae share their common name with moths in the Hemaris genus of the family Sphingidae; the hummingbird clearwing and snowberry clearwings are members of Hemaris. They are generally much larger and furrier than the Sesiidae and are much more able mimics, of bumblebees and hummingbirds. 
Order Lepidoptera: Moths. Unlike the butterflies, moths are usually nocturnal. Many moths and their caterpillars are major agricultural pests in large parts of the world. Moths in the family Tineidae are commonly regarded as pests because their larvae eat fabrics, clothes and blankets made from natural fibers such as wool or silk. Moths in the genus Farinalis feed on stored grain, flour, corn meal and other milled grain products.
Butterflies Main | Moths | Moths Index | Butterflies Index