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Peachtree Borer Moth (Synanthedon exitiosa)


Detailing the physical features, habits, territorial reach and other identifying qualities of the Peachtree Borer Moth



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Males and females look different, and together they create a small, yet destructive pest in peach orchards.



Updated: 07/15/2020; Authored By Staff Writer; Content ©www.InsectIdentification.org
The Peachtree Borer is sexually dimorphic. Females are black with a thick, bright orange band around the abdomen that covers two body segments. Males are more slender and have narrow yellow bands around the abdomen that are sometimes hidden when the body is curved. They also have yellow on their legs and thorax. This moth is a member of the Clearwing family, so both sexes have wings that are transparent, though females' wings are filled in a bit with black. Both male and female are strikingly similar to wasps. They are active from May to September.

As the name suggests, the caterpillar for this moth bores into tree trunks of peach trees, but it also uses nectarine, almond, cherry, and plum trees as host plants. It is destructive in many orchards, so preventing and managing the insect is imperative for tree health and productivity. Signs of larval activity can be seen at the base of the tree trunk where root-feeding activity occurs. Brown jelly-like mush forms where holes were made, and a large amount of it may be visible at the soil level. Sawdust left from chewing wood may also accumulate at the base. A variety of strategies are used to protect trees from infestation as well as damage such as the application of chemical sprays, manually destroying larvae, and trapping adults before they mate. While most healthy adult trees can tolerate a small presence, young saplings can die if infested. Check fruit trees throughout the year for holes in the trunk and moth activity. While only one generation is produced each year, the feeding occurs throughout autumn and winter.




General Characteristics
Capability, Shape, Texture/Pattern, Benefits, Dangers
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Pest insect icon
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Taxonomic Hierarchy
Species Breakdown
Kingdom: Animalia
  Phylum: Arthropoda
    Class: Insecta
      Order: Lepidoptera
        Family: Sesiidae
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          Genus: Synanthedon
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            Species: exitiosa
Identifying Information
Size, Colors, Features
Scientific Name: Synanthedon exitiosa
Category: Butterfly or Moth
Size (Adult; Length): 15mm to 20mm (0.59" to 0.78")
Colorwheel Graphic Colors: black; yellow; orange; white
Descriptors: clear wings; transparent wings; wasp mimic; pest; orange waist band; white belt
Relative Size Comparison
Typical Range Between 15mm and 20mm
Lo: 15mm
Md: 17.5mm
Hi: 20mm
Territorial Map*
U.S., Canada, and Mexico
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Alaska  
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* MAP NOTES: The territorial heat map above showcases (in red) the states and territories of North America where the Peachtree Borer Moth may be found (but is not limited to). This sort of data is useful when attempting to see concentrations of particular species across the continent as well as revealing possible migratory patterns over a species' given lifespan. Some insects are naturally confined by environment, weather, mating habits, food resources and the like while others see widespread expansion across most, or all, of North America. States/Territories shown above are a general indicator of areas inhabited by the Peachtree Borer Moth. Insects generally go where they please, typically driven by diet, environmental changes, and / or mating habits.

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