British Insects: the Families of Lepidoptera
Adults diurnal; relatively long-bodied (exaggeratedly so); medium built (wingspan more than 8 and less than 15 times the thoracic width) to heavily built (wingspan less than 8 times the thoracic width). The abdomen conspicuously patterned (black, usually with yellow or red bands). Adults of hymenopterous appearance.
Head rough (-scaled). Antennae of medium length to long; extending to about 0.55–0.84 times the length of the forewing; clubbed to not clubbed. The club when present, gradual. Antennae of males sub- dentate, or simple, or lamellate; non-ciliate, or fasciculate-ciliate (usually penicillate). The antennal scape without a pecten. Ocelli present (prominent). Chaetosemata absent. Maxillary palps much reduced. Labial palps ascending; 3 segmented. Proboscis fully developed; not scaly.
Wingspan 16–45 mm; 5–10 times the thoracic width. Forewings narrow; 3.2–4 times as long as wide. The outer and hind margins angled at 120–135 degrees. The outer margin convexly curved; forewings apically blunt. Hindwings similar in breadth to the forewings; with a rounded apex; the upper surfaces conspicuously patterned above (at least via the dark veins, and sometimes with pigmented outer margins and/or costa); with a discal spot (or a bar over the transverse vein), or with neither discal spot nor transverse lines (Sesiinae only); with a frenulum.
Neuration of forewings and hindwings dissimilar. Forewings 12 veined, or 13 veined; with 1 anal vein, or with 2 anal veins. The anal veins of the forewings representing 1b only, or comprising 1b and 1c (with 1c vestigial save at its base). Forewings exhibiting a tubular vein 1c (proximally only), or lacking a tubular vein 1c (?). Vein 1b of the forewings furcate proximally. The transverse vein complete to incomplete. Discal cell of the forewings without a tubular media (M) vein. Hindwings 8 veined, or 9 veined; with 3 anal veins. The anal veins of the hindwings comprising 1a, 1b and 1c. Hindwings exhibiting vein 1a; exhibiting a tubular vein 1c. Vein 1b of the hindwings furcate proximally. The transverse vein incomplete. 5 veins arising from the hindwing cell (vein 5 absent). The cell-derived hindwing veins all arising independently of one another, or 3+4 proximally joined (these then connate to stalked). Vein 8 of the hindwings completely independent of the cell (but concealed in the costa and hard to detect); approximating to vein 7 beyond the cell (but vein 8 ostensibly absent, being concealed in the costa).
Fore-legs with a tibial epiphysis. Tibiae of middle legs 2-spurred. Posterior tibiae 4-spurred.
Tympanal organs absent.
Eggs, larvae and pupae. Larval prolegs 10. Larvae concealed feeders; wood- or stem- boring (or in roots). On divers woody and herbaceous Dicots, feeding in the stems and roots.
Pupae concealed (in the larval galleries); in stems, or in wood. Empty pupae protruded from place of concealment.
British representation. Genera 7; 15 species. Aegeriinae: Bembicia ichneumoniformis (Six-belted Clearwing), Paranthrene tabaniformis (Dusky Clearwing), Pyropteron chrysidiformis (Fiery Clearwing), Synansphecia muscaeformis (Thrift Clearwing), Synanthedon anthraciniformis (Orange-tailed Clearwing), Synanthedon culiciformis (Large Red-belted Clearwing), Synanthedon flaviventris (Sallow Clearwing), Synanthedon formicaeformis (Red-tipped Clearwing), Synanthedon myopaeformis (Red-belted Clearwing), Synanthedon scoliaeformis (Welsh Clearwing), Synanthedon spheciformis (White-barred Clearwing), Synanthedon tipuliformis (Currant Clearwing), Synanthedon vespiformis (Yellow-legged Clearwing). Sesiinae: Sesia apiformis (Hornet-moth), Sesia bembeciformis (Lunar Hornet Clearwing).
Classification. Macromoths. Suborder Ditrysia. Superfamily Sesioidea.
Illustrations. • The Sesiidae: Newman. • Assorted Sesiidae: Kirby. • Bembecia ichneumoniformis (Six-belted Clearwing: B. Ent. 53). • Bembecia ichneumoniformis: B. Ent. 53, legend. • Bembecia ichneumoniformis (dissections: B. Ent. 53). • Sesia bembeciformis (*Lunar Hornet Clearwing), Sesia apiformis (**Hornet-moth): B. Ent. 372. • Sesia bembeciformis and Sesia apiformis: B. Ent. 372, legend+text. • Sesia bembeciformis and Sesia apiformis: B. Ent. 372, text cont.. • Synanthedon spheciformis, S. vespiformis, S. myopaeformis, S. formicaeformis: Stephens I, 188. • Sesia apiformis: neuration.
To view illustrations with legends giving names in current use, go to the interactive key. This also offers full and partial descriptions, diagnostic descriptions, differences and similarities between taxa, lists of taxa exhibiting or lacking specified attributes, and distributions of character states within any set of taxa, as well as source references and other relevant material.
Cite this publication as: ‘Watson, L., and Dallwitz, M.J. 2003 onwards. British insects: the families of Lepidoptera. Version: 29th December 2011. http://delta-intkey.com’.