Sesiidae : Sesiinae
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Photo © Tim Blackburn,  Hampstead Heath, Middlesex (18/06/24)

Immature stages

Similar Herts & Middlesex Species
Lunar Hornet Moth
Sesia bembeciformis
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Hornet Moth
Sesia apiformis

(Clerck, 1759) 370 / 52.002

General Remarks:
A widespread and common species, likely to affect almost all mature Lombardy and Black Poplars. Hornet Clearwing is perhaps the easiest of the group to find - one simply looks for emergence holes at the base of poplar trees to record a past presence and either protruding pupae or newly emerged adults on the trunks to determine a current population. Presumably once confined to native Black Poplar trees, the moth has evidently adapted well to the Lombardy Poplar, a hybrid variety that was introduced to Britain in 1758.

Hertfordshire Notes: In 1916, Foster noted the Hornet Clearwing as 'not uncommon in north Herts', but gave no details and only three former localities in the north of the county have been traced. Later, in the 1937 list, Foster added Watford and Colney Heath, without any dates. Present-day records seem to be concentrated in the east of the county. It is worth commenting that although this species is widespread, it is nevertheless potentially threatened in Hertfordshire by the misguided felling of affected trees on grounds of safety. With this in mind it is worth pointing out that the larvae feed between the bark and the wood on the cambium of the bark and do not affect the timber of the trunk. Consequently, it does not weaken the tree nor render it unsafe

Middlesex Notes: Local, but affected trees usually support large numbers of this moth. Observers need to watch affected trees at around 7am, before the newly emerged moths disperse to the tree tops.

Recorded in 28 (68%) of 41 10k Squares.
First Recorded in 1893.
Last Recorded in 2024.
Additional Stats

< Raspberry Clearwing | Lunar Hornet Moth >

List Species Records   [Show All Latest]
Latest 5 Records
Date#VC10k Area
18/06/2024121TQ28 - Hendon / Hampstead / Camden
30/06/2023220TL23 - Letchworth / Baldock
26/06/2023120SP91 - Tring
24/06/2023121TQ17 - Brentford / Hounslow / Richmond
18/06/2023121TQ17 - Brentford / Hounslow / Richmond
Show Details | 1990 to 2023 | 2000 to 2023 | Graph Key
Express Record Hornet Moth
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Copyright © Lepidoptera UK 2024

VC20 VC21 VC21 VC20
Click Map for Details
Forewing: 17-21mm.
Flight: Mid June-July (Aug)
Foodplant:   Black-poplar, Aspen, other poplars
Red List: Least Concern (LC)
GB Status: Common
Former Status: Nationally Scarce B
Verification Grade:  Adult: 2
 Immature Adult   [Show Flight Weeks]
© 2024 NOLA®; Database using MapMate® Digital Maps © Bartholomew 2010. Design © Jim Wheeler 2024
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