Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Sting like a Butterfly

I'm rolling my eyes at the little pop up window advertising some stupid shop at home alert or something. As if someone with a computer doesn't already know how to shop on the internet. I do apologize for those ads.

I see the All Asian one is becoming slightly more English I guess that's an improvement.

So I stepped outside a few days ago and was greeted by this charming insect. My next question of course was, What is it?

Clearly it's mimicking a wasp... though I've never seen the wasp it's mimicking hmmm. It has the mouth parts of a moth or butterfly, but I've never herd of them to mimic anything. Naturally I wasted time looking through pictures of hundreds of flies over at Bug Guide.

Finally I caught a break with the aid of Alex Wild and Gordon Snelling (I don't think he blogs). Though entomologists, neither knew the exact species but were kind enough to take time out of their busy schedule say it was in fact a Lepidoptera, though among the strangest moth or butterfly that I'd ever seen. Alex had a bit of a head start and was able to tell me a Sesiidae family of some sort, a.k.a. Clearwing Moths.

From here I was able to discover this is the adult form of the Squash Borer, who's host plants ranges from assorted cucumber, pumpkin, gourd, squash etc... Sure enough I found more of these pollinators hanging out on those plants right in the garden.