Sesiidae : Sesiinae
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Photo © Liz Goodyear,  Ware, Hertfordshire (18/07/20)

Similar Herts & Middlesex Species
Red-belted Clearwing
Synanthedon myopaeformis
Large Red-belted Clearwing
Synanthedon culiciformis
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Red-tipped Clearwing
Synanthedon formicaeformis

(Esper, 1783) 380 / 52.008

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.

Hertfordshire Notes:
These notes reflect our views held in 2008 when the book The Moths of Hertfordshire was published:
According to Foster (1916) 'Durrant mentions two specimens taken by the late Mr. Christian at Norton near Baldock previous to 1885'. Records in the 1937 list are for Norton Mill near Letchworth, Holwell near Hitchin and Harpenden. Foster (1942) adds Water End, Hemel Hempstead 'common in 1941' and Broxbourne [Woods]. Some modern records are a result of good luck and spending adequate time in the field, such as the one that Phil Jeffery was fortunate enough to see land on a thistle flower at Cowheath Wood on the morning of 13th July 2003. Most recent records, however, are from artificial pheromone lures. A lure placed on an old osier on 13th June 2004 by the River Colne at Watford by Colin Everett at 16.10 hours attracted a male after three minutes. Another placed on an old osier on 17th June 2004 on derelict ground just south of Frogmore Lakes Nature Reserve at 16.06 hours attracted a male after eight minutes. The positioning of the lure appears to be critical and the males appear reluctant to fly great distances. In adjacent Middlesex, a lure placed by me on a small oak sapling at the edge of a very wet sallow carr at Ickenham Marsh on 14th June 2002 produced no moths after 20 minutes. However, when I overcame laziness and donned my wellies to move the lure to a sallow tree less than two metres away in the wet area, a male arrived within a few seconds. The lure was placed at about 1.5 metres above the ground. The distribution map still (2023) reflects under-recording, but does show a correlation with damp sallow carr - a scarce habitat in the county. Threats to this habitat, including altered hydrological regimes, are also threats to the moth. Clearance of sallows in the name of habitat management reduces the amount of trees of sufficient age to support the moth and if carried out without prior survey is likely to kill the larvae, which spend two years in the wood. Burning ensures that none are allowed to continue their development in the cut branches.

Middlesex Notes: In The Larger Moths of the London Area (1993) I noted it as being "Very local, but comes in number to artificial pheromone lures".Happily, it is now widespread in the county, though rather more locally so than in Hertfordshire as the urban area probably contains fewer areas of suitable habitat.

Recorded in 25 (61%) of 41 10k Squares.
First Recorded in 1885.
Last Recorded in 2024.
Additional Stats

< Large Red-belted Clearwing | Sallow Clearwing >

List Species Records   [Show All Latest]
Latest 5 Records
Date#VC10k Area
17/06/2024121TQ09 - Watford / Rickmansworth
20/07/2023120TL42 - Bishop's Stortford (N)
09/07/2023120SP91 - Tring
28/06/2023120SP90 - Berkhamsted
27/06/2023520TL33 - Therfield / Barkway
Show Details | 1990 to 2023 | 2000 to 2023 | Graph Key
Express Record Red-tipped Clearwing
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Copyright © Lepidoptera UK 2024

VC20 VC21 VC21 VC20
Click Map for Details
Forewing: 9-11mm.
Flight: May-Aug.
Foodplant:   Osiers, Willows
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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