Sesiidae : Sesiinae
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Photo © David Hunt,  Harpenden, Hertfordshire (19/06/24)

Similar Herts & Middlesex Species
Currant Clearwing
Synanthedon tipuliformis
Six-belted Clearwing
Bembecia ichneumoniformis
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Yellow-legged Clearwing
Synanthedon vespiformis

(Linnaeus, 1761) 374 / 52.012

General Comments:
Widespread, but local. Locally common.

Formerly regarded as extremely rare, but since the creation and widescale availability of artificial pheromone lures for clearwing species it has become apparent that the moth is widespread and numerically common - and almost certainly has always been so. Nevertheless, there are two obvious gaps in the maps and the moth needs searching for in north-east Herts (where suitable oak trees might be in short supply) as well as south-west Middlesex, where the absence is less easily explained.

Hertfordshire Notes: A. E. Gibbs, writing in 1893 about the year 1892 records that 'Mr J. E. Cutts, of Watford, informs me that a friend of his took the yellow-legged clearwing (Sesia asiliformis) near Sandridge. This is the first record of the occurrence of this moth in our county'. It is not clear if he overlooked or ignored a record on the list published in 1888 for the Haileybury School (now Haileybury College) in the Broxbourne area; that list contains some records of doubtful authenticity, though this species would have been expected there. In 1916, Foster lists Knebworth Great Wood and Hitchin whilst in the 1937 list he adds Bayford, Royston (1923), Haileybury (school list) and Ashridge. Later, in 1942, he adds Northchurch (J. Bell) and Watford (E. W. Classey). More recent records are plentiful. Adult females lay their eggs on fresh cut stumps of oaks, occasionally other trees, and this must be a micro-habitat that is in relatively short supply over much of the county.

Middlesex Notes:
Surprisingly widespread in built-up areas - perhaps depending on host trees in domestic gardens?

Retained Specimen / Photograph will be Required.

Recorded in 23 (56%) of 41 10k Squares.
First Recorded in 1888.
Last Recorded in 2023.
Additional Stats

< Red-belted Clearwing | Currant Clearwing >

List Species Records   [Show All Latest]
Latest 5 Records
Date#VC10k Area
15/08/20231020TL23 - Letchworth / Baldock
10/08/2023121TQ09 - Watford / Rickmansworth
20/07/2023120TL31 - Hertford
18/07/2023120TL22 - Stevenage
23/06/2023120TL31 - Hertford
Show Details | 1990 to 2023 | 2000 to 2023 | Graph Key
Express Record Yellow-legged Clearwing
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Copyright © Lepidoptera UK 2024

VC20 VC21 VC21 VC20
Click Map for Details
Forewing: 10-12mm.
Flight: May-Aug.
Foodplant:   Pedunculate Oak
Red List: Least Concern (LC)
GB Status: Common
Former Status: Nationally Scarce B
Verification Grade:  Adult: 3
 Immature Adult   [Show Flight Weeks]
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