Bembecia ichneumoniformis

Bembecia ichneumoniformis, the six-belted clearwing, is a moth of the family Sesiidae.

Bembecia ichneumoniformis
Sesiidae - Bembecia ichneumoniformis (male)-001
Bembecia ichneumoniformis. Male
Bembecia Ichneumoniformis FemelleMorgat2011Lamiot936
Female
Scientific classification
Kingdom:
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Species:
B. ichneumoniformis
Binomial name
Bembecia ichneumoniformis
Synonyms[1]

Distribution

This species can be found in most of Europe and Asia Minor, the Caucasus, northern Iran and the Near East.[2][3]

Habitat

Bembecia ichneumoniformis prefers calcareous soils, sea-cliffs and quarries.

Description

The wingspan of Bembecia ichneumoniformis can reach 15–21 millimetres (0.59–0.83 in). The body of these moths is black, with six yellow narrow transversal bands in males (hence the common name), while the females may have only five yellow bands.[4] Antennae are relatively thick. In males they are usually black, while in the females they may be either black with an ocher band or basically ocher with a black apex. The front wings show a yellowish or orange apex, a yellow orange spot separating two transparent areas and brownish orange margins. The abdominal brush is black with yellow lines. Legs are yellow.

Rather similar species are Pyropteron muscaeformis, Bembecia scopigera and Bembecia albanensis.

Like all the butterflies of the family Sesiidae, this species is similar in appearance and flight to a hymenopteran more than to a lepidopteran. The wings are partially free of scales (transparent areas) and narrower and more elongated than those of other butterfly families. In fact the Latin name ichneumoniformis means that its shape and colors, as well as the structure of its wings, evokes certain ichneumonids, not a butterfly.

It is likely that the alternating yellow and black bands protects this species from certain predators that associate these colors with those of insects with darts and venom such as wasps and bees.

Biology

Adults are on wing from June to August in western Europe. It is a day-flying species.

The larvae feed on the roots of Lotus species and Anthyllis vulneraria. Other recorded food plants include Lotus corniculatus, Ononis spinosa, Dorycnium pentaphyllum, Dorycnium germanicum, Dorycnium herbaceum, Dorycnium hirsutum, Medicago, Hippocrepis comosa, Lupinus polyphyllus, Tetragonolobus maritimus and Lathyrus pratensis.[3]

The caterpillar may be parasitized by other insects, particularly by Tachinidae species (especially Bithia demotica and Bithia proletaria, Bithia glirina and Leskia aurea).[5]

Males are attracted by certain molecules, some of which also attract other species of butterflies (Tineidae et Choreutidae).[6]

Gallery

Britishentomologyvolume5Plate53

Illustration from John Curtis's British Entomology Volume 5

Sesiidae - Bembecia ichneumoniformis (male)

Bembecia ichneumoniformis. Male, side view

Bembecia Ichneumoniformis FemelleMorgat2011Lamiot003

Female, side view

Bembecia Ichneumoniformis FemelleMorgat2011Lamiot980

Close-up on abdominal brush

Bibliography

References

  1. ^ Checklist of the Sesiidae of the world (Lepidoptera: Ditrysia)
  2. ^ Fauna europaea
  3. ^ a b Funet
  4. ^ Butterfly Conservation
  5. ^ Æeljko Predovnik & Hans-Peter Tschorsnig, Tachinidae (Diptera) Rearded from clearwing moths (Lepidptera: Sesiidae) in Slovenia, Acta entomoligca Slovenica Ljubljana, July 2007, Vol. 15, øt. 1: 47–50 (Article)
  6. ^ V. Būda, U. Mäeorg, V. Karalius, G. H. L. Rothschild, S. Kolonistova, P. Ivinskis and R. Mozūraitis, C18 Dienes as attractants for eighteen clearwing (Sesiidae), tineid (Tineidae), and choreutid (Choreutidae) moth species ; Journal of Chemical Ecology ; Volume 19, Number 4, 799-813, doi:10.1007/BF00985010

External links

Bembecia

Bembecia is a genus of moths in the family Sesiidae.

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This is a list of moth species which have been recorded in Estonia.

List of moths of Iran

There are about 2,235 known moth species in Iran. Moths (mostly nocturnal) and butterflies (mostly diurnal) together make up the taxonomic order Lepidoptera.

This is a list of moth species which have been recorded in Iran.

List of moths of Italy (Q-Z)

Italian moths represent about 4,959 different types of moths. The moths (mostly nocturnal) and butterflies (mostly diurnal) together make up the taxonomic order Lepidoptera.

This is a list of moth species (families beginning Q-Z) which have been recorded in Italy, including San Marino, Sardinia, Sicily and Vatican City.Other parts of the list are at List of moths of Italy.

List of moths of Metropolitan France (P–Z)

This is a list of moths of families starting from P to Z that are found in Metropolitan France (including Corsica). It also acts as an index to the species articles and forms part of the full List of Lepidoptera of Metropolitan France.

List of moths of Russia (Zygaenoidea-Tortricoidea)

This is a list of the Russian moth species of the superfamilies Zygaenoidea, Sesioidea, Cossoidea and Tortricoidea. It also acts as an index to the species articles and forms part of the full List of moths of Russia.

List of moths of the Iberian Peninsula (P–Z)

Iberian moths represent about 4,454 different types of moths. The moths (mostly nocturnal) and butterflies (mostly diurnal) together make up the taxonomic order Lepidoptera.

This is a list of moth species which have been recorded in Portugal, Spain and Gibraltar (together forming the Iberian Peninsula). This list also includes species found on the Balearic Islands.

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