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From: The Moth (Cecropian)Jul-7 12:39 AM 
To: All  (1 of 7) 

Melittia cucurbitae

Nectaring on milkweed blossoms.

Look at those hairy legs!  When it flies, they hang down so it looks like a wasp.  Hovers like a hummingbird moth.

Wings beat so fast, they're a blur.

Hind wings are clear (no scales).

Can be a major agricultural pest.


  • Edited July 7, 2018 12:43 am  by  The Moth (Cecropian)
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From: gjones2twoJul-7 7:12 PM 
To: The Moth (Cecropian)  (2 of 7) 
 1734.2 in reply to 1734.1 

Boy, did I dread the sight of those things when I had a garden! (They fly in the daytime, and -- if unlucky -- you may see them often.) I considered them my major insect enemy.

Unlike some insects that just eat leaves or even parts of the fruit, it doesn't take but one of these to kill a large and luxuriant plant. They lay tiny hard-to-spot eggs near the base of the stem. The grubs live inside, and typically girdle it, killing the entire plant.



From: The Moth (Cecropian)Jul-7 11:23 PM 
To: gjones2two  (3 of 7) 
 1734.3 in reply to 1734.2 

I was reading about that.  Those things are deadly!  You're right.  All it takes is one.



From: MerlinsDad Posted by hostJul-8 11:32 PM 
To: The Moth (Cecropian)  (4 of 7) 
 1734.4 in reply to 1734.1 

Very interesting critter.  Nice shots.  Good commentary.  Don't recall having seen one.  It's a clear wing moth, similar to the one I posted 1689.1  but definitely not the same species.  I'm learning how many different clear wing species there are.


From: The Moth (Cecropian)Jul-9 11:54 AM 
To: gjones2two  (5 of 7) 
 1734.5 in reply to 1734.2 

Hmmmmm...... now that I know how to recognize these things, I've been seeing them every day at the milkweed blossoms.  Good thing I'm not growing any pumpkins.



From: The Moth (Cecropian)Jul-9 11:56 AM 
To: MerlinsDad  (6 of 7) 
 1734.6 in reply to 1734.4 

That's a nice photo.  I am also learning that clear wing moths can belong to entire different families.



From: MerlinsDad Posted by hostJul-9 10:08 PM 
To: The Moth (Cecropian)  (7 of 7) 
 1734.7 in reply to 1734.6 

So clear wings evolved multiple times, but only among moths, most of whom seem to be day flyers?  Very interesting


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