What Bug Is That? The guide to Australian insect families.

Logo: What Bug Is That? Logo: Taxonomy Research & Information Network

Sesiidae

Overview

Only 14 named species of this rather large family occur in Australia (Duckworth and Eichlin 1974). The diurnal, often brightly coloured, moths bear a remarkable resemblance to wasps and bees. Their flight is rapid and they often visit flowers.

Description

Small to medium-sized; head smooth-scaled, with piliform scales on vertex, lamellar scales on frons; ocelli present, large; chaetosemata present, small; antenna often thickened, rarely pectinate, usually clavate with apical tuft, or filiform with long ventral cilia; proboscis usually well developed, unscaled; maxillary palps small, 1-3-segmented; labial palps recurved, sometimes tufted; epiphysis present; spurs 0-2-4; hind tibiae sometimes with prominent tufts or scaling; fore wing long and narrow, without pterostigma, dorsum forming longitudinal downward fold fitting around upward costal fold of hind wing, wing usually partially hyaline, R 4 and R 5 stalked, CuP absent, 1A + 2A short, unforked; hind wing with frenulum of one bristle in both sexes, Sc + R 1 , Rs and costa closely approximated, CuP often present. Abdomen often brightly coloured, uncus and valvae usually with dense setae. Larva pale, 3 L setae on prothorax, crochets in 2 uniordinal transverse rows; tunnelling in trunk, bark or roots of trees and herbs, or in galls. Pupa with projections on head, T2-7 in males and T2-6 in females each with 2 transverse rows of spines, T8 in male and T7 and 8 in female each with one row; anal setae present, cremaster absent, segments 3-7 in male and 3-6 in female movable, partly protruded at ecdysis.

Distribution

The tinthiine Pennisetia igniflua from the Brisbane (Qld) area has larvae that tunnel in the trunk of the rainforest tree Elaeocarpus grandis . The sexually dimorphic and larger Albuna oberthuri occurs in the N.T. Carmenta chrysophanes is widely distributed in eastern Australia; the larvae are known from several hosts including the woody galls on the branches of Exocarpus cupressiformis . The larvae of the introduced current borer moth, Synanthedon tipuliformis , tunnels in the stems of currants and gooseberries in N.S.W., Vic. and Tas.

Top