×
BugFinder Insects by State Spiders Butterflies & Moths Bees, Ants, & Wasps Beetles All Bugs Videos (YouTube)

Southwestern Squash Vine Borer Moth (Melittia calabaza)


Detailing the physical features, habits, territorial reach and other identifying qualities of the Southwestern Squash Vine Borer Moth



Loading SVG image placeholder
1/1
Image Credit: George J. from Arlington, TX
Full-sized image of the Southwestern-Squash-Vine-Borer-Moth Thumbnail image of the Southwestern-Squash-Vine-Borer-Moth

The stealthy larvae of the Southwestern Squash Vine Borer can rot a healthy plant from the inside out without ever being seen.



Updated: 08/23/2019; Authored By Staff Writer; Content ©www.InsectIdentification.org
Common to states in the Southwest and Mexico, sightings of Southwestern Squash Vine Borer Moth should put gardeners and farmers on the defensive. The red-bodied, black- winged adults do not harm plants, but their caterpillars can decimate a crop in under a month. After mating, female moths lay eggs on the stems of gourd, squash, and pumpkin vines. The emerging larvae bore into the stem and live inside, eating the inner stem tissue, called the pith, as they grow. The white, wormy larvae remain hidden inside during this life stage and emerge after they pupate. Signs of plant infestation include leaf wilt and then stem rot which expands to other branches and eventually kills the plant.

When dealing with Southwestern Squash Vine Borers, the best defense is a good offense. Preventing adults from contacting the plant means the worms cannot get near their food source. Covering vine plants with row cover is effective. Employing traps to catch/kill moths may help reduce the possibility of egg-laying. Cutting off stems that appear infected can curb the spread of the larvae to other healthy branches, thereby saving the whole plant.




General Characteristics
Capability, Shape, Texture/Pattern, Benefits, Dangers
Flying insect icon
Garden pest insect icon
Patterned insect icon
Pest insect icon




Taxonomic Hierarchy
Species Breakdown
Kingdom: Animalia
  Phylum: Arthropoda
    Class: Insecta
      Order: Lepidoptera
        Family: Sesiidae
View More
          Genus: Melittia
View More
            Species: calabaza
Identifying Information
Size, Colors, Features
Scientific Name: Melittia calabaza
Category: Butterfly or Moth
Size (Adult; Length): 12mm to 15mm (0.47" to 0.59")
Colorwheel Graphic Colors: red, black
Descriptors: dots, spots, flying, garden pest, crop pest
Relative Size Comparison
Typical Range Between 12mm and 15mm
Lo: 12mm
Md: 13.5mm
Hi: 15mm
Territorial Map*
U.S., Canada, and Mexico
State of Alabama graphic
State of Arizona graphic
State of Arkansas graphic
State of California graphic
State of Colorado graphic
State of Delware graphic
State of Florida graphic
State of Georgia graphic
State of Idaho graphic
State of Illinois graphic
State of Indiana graphic
State of Iowa graphic
State of Kansas graphic
State of Kentucky graphic
State of Louisiana graphic
State of Maine graphic
State of Maryland graphic
State of Michigan graphic
State of Minnesota graphic
State of Mississippi graphic
State of Missouri graphic
State of Montana graphic
State of Nebraska graphic
State of Nevada graphic
State of New England graphic
State of New Jersey graphic
State of New Mexico graphic
State of New York graphic
State of North Carolina graphic
State of North Dakota graphic
State of Ohio graphic
State of Oklahoma graphic
State of Oregon graphic
State of Pennsylvania graphic
State of South Carolina graphic
State of South Dakota graphic
State of Tennessee graphic
State of Texas graphic
State of Utah graphic
State of Virginia graphic
State of Washington graphic
State of West Virginia graphic
State of Wisconsin graphic
State of Wyoming graphic
Canadian territory of Alberta graphic
Canadian territory of British Columbia graphic
Canadian territory of Manitoba graphic
Canadian territory of New Brunswick graphic
Canadian territory of Newfoundland and Labrador graphic
Canadian territory of Ontario graphic
Canadian territory of Quebec graphic
Canadian territory of Saskatchewan graphic
Territory map graphic of the country of Mexico
Contiguous United States shape map layer graphic
Alaska  
Hawaii  
Prince Edward Is.  
* MAP NOTES: The territorial heat map above showcases (in red) the states and territories of North America where the Southwestern Squash Vine 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 Southwestern Squash Vine Borer Moth. Insects generally go where they please, typically driven by diet, environmental changes, and / or mating habits.

Site Disclaimer  |  Privacy Policy  |  Cookies  |  Sitemap


Beetle Identification Butterfly Identification Caterpillar Identification Spider ID

www.InsectIdentification.org • Content ©2006- InsectIdentification.org • All Rights Reserved. The InsectIdentification.org logo, its written content, and watermarked photographs/imagery are unique to this website (unless where indicated) and is protected by all applicable domestic and international intellectual property laws. This resource uses publically-released information. Material presented throughout this website is for entertainment value and should not to be construed as usable for scientific research or medical advice (regarding bites, etc...).Please consult licensed, degreed professionals for such information. By submitting images to us (InsectIdentification.org) you acknowledge that you have read and understood our Site Disclaimer as it pertains to "User-Submitted Content". When emailing please include your location and the general estimated size of the specimen in question if possible. Please direct all inquiries and comments to insectidentification AT gmail.com.

www.InsectIdentification.org • All Rights Reserved • Content ©2006-

Facebook Logo YouTube Logo