Wasp-Mimic Moth

Wasp-Mimic Moth Photo, Picture
  • Common Name: Wasp-Mimic Moth
  • Order Name: Lepidoptera
  • Family Name: Sesiidae

The moth members of this Order of insects include a large number of diverse families. Moth groups include micro moths, leaf miners, clothes moths, plume moths, ermine moths, burnets, geometrids, silk moths, sphinx moths, tiger moths, wasp moths, noctuids, underwings and many others.

The waxy and transparent scales of this Sesiid moth simulate the membranous wings of the wasps they mimic. Special interlocking spines link the hind and forewings together, allowing for behaviorally stylized flight characteristics that simulate a wasp in flight. Lepidoptera means “scale-wing.” The amazing variety of designs on the wings of butterflies and moths are achieved through various pigments, structures and shapes of the tiny scales that cover their wing surfaces. These scales easily dislodge upon touch and their “dust” has been the source of folklore. The Yaqui Indians in Carlos Casteneda’s books believe moths to be the heralds and guardians of eternity, with knowledge coming like specs of gold “dust.”