I had my face tucked in close to the bright orange blooms when a wasp-like insect nearly grazed the tip of my nose.
At rest, this insect certainly displayed some
hymenopteran qualities, but it was certainly no wasp.
This is one of
the few day flying moths. It is also a
wasp mimic, meaning that the physical appearance of the moth has a resemblance
to a wasp. This mimicry affords the moth
some protection from predators that would avoid tangling with a stinging wasp.
When outstretched, the wings
resemble the raised forewings of an angry wasp.
The hind legs bear large tufts of dark reddish-orange hairs. When in flight, the moth carries the legs
below the body and it looks very much like a wasp carrying a caterpillar.
a very interesting moth in terms of both form and behavior. The name Squash Vine Borer says all that most
people need to know about this moth. The
larvae live their lives inside the stems of squash vines and their relatives,
ultimately bringing death to the plants.
Because of this, most people’s interest in the moth doesn’t stray far
from how it can be eliminated.
There are some nice summer squash vines
growing just a few feet away. I may lose
a vine or two to the moths, but it’s not really a hardship. I’ll trade a couple of vines for the
experience of watching the adult moths.
Besides, I love to eat fresh squash and start a few new plants every
couple of weeks right into summer. The
adult moths are only around for a short time, so they won’t infest my later
plantings. I’ve never had them lay eggs
on all of my vines and there has never been a summer when I couldn’t go out at
any time and pick some fresh squash.
Color and Aroma of Spring
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