Clearwing Moth  (two photos)
Podosesia syringae
"Lilac Borer" - wasp mimic
1" from tip of head to end of abdomen



Podosesia syringae
I was just starting up the stairs of my deck when this large flying insect cut me off and started hovering around
the fence surrounding my lilac bush.  After finding just the right landing spot, it slowly touched down. I initially
 thought it might be a mud dauber but upon closer inspection, I could tell it was something different - the
colors were outstanding. Luckily I had my camera in hand. This thing flew like a wasp - totally! - and it had
me fooled the whole time. I thought of "moth" once and then blocked it out because all its mannerisms
were "wasp". Carol Davis 6-20-2012

lilac borer
You can see in this photo why it's in the family of Clearwing Moths (Sesiinae). It was rather confused as it tried to get through
the fence (catproofing) to the lilac. It was just taking off as I got this shot.  Lilac Borer larvae are destructive to lilacs and
ash and can be serious pests.  This moth was probably laying eggs. Thanks to Bugguide for the ID.  This has to be one of the
best wasp mimics I've ever seen.  Maybe "it's not nice to fool Mother Nature" (according to the old Chiffon margarine
commercial),  but she fools us all the time.  You can see more photos here that I took of a mating pair. Carol Davis 6-20-2012

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