A type of Borer moth, the Ironweed Clearwing is often seen in areas where ironweed grows, a type of flowering plant in the Aster family. The moth's body may be black or brown with yellow banding around the abdomen. A flourish of hairs grow from the tip of the abdomen, like short tail feathers. The clear wings are bordered in black or brown and legs are yellow. The antennae have a white band on them, which helps differentiate this species from other Clearwing Borers. The thorax has yellow lines on either side of it and possibly a third running down the center. Because this is a moth, it does not sting despite looking like a wasp.
Caterpillars for this species dig into the roots of ironweed plants and feed. This moth is also called the Eupatorium Borer Moth, which reflected the genus name of a type of Joe-Pye Weed. It is now in a different genus, but it is likely the caterpillar feeds on it in addition to ironweed.
Look for Ironweed Clearwings in meadows and areas where ironweed grows. It is a day flyer, taking full advantage of the protection from predators that its wasp-like body and behavior give it.
General Characteristics Capability, Shape, Texture/Pattern, Benefits, Dangers
Note: An insect's reach is not limited by lines drawn on a map and therefore species may appear in areas, regions and/or states beyond those listed above as they are driven by environmental factors (such as climate change), available food supplies and mating patterns.
Territorial Map U.S., Canada, and Mexico
Prince Edward Is.
Butterfly and Moth Anatomy
Antennae: Butterflies and Moths have a pair of antennae on the head used for sensing.
Head: The head is home to the insect's eyes, antennae, and proboscis.
Thorax: Home to the three pairs of legs as well as vital internal organs.
Abdomen: Contains vital internal organs such as the heart(s) and reproduction facilities.
Forewing: The upper, forward wing pair used for flying.
Hindwing: The lower, rearward wing pair used for flying.
NOTE: Butterflies and Moths are part of the Lepidopteran order as they share many similarities.