T.E.R:R.A.I.N - Taranaki Educational Resource: Research, Analysis and Information Network


Synanthedon tipuliformis (Currant clearwing)

Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Lepidoptera
Family: Sesiidae
Genus: Synanthedon
Species: S. tipuliformis
Binomial name: Synanthedon tipuliformis
Synonyms: Sphinx tipuliformis, Sphinx salmachus, Sphinx tipula
Sphinx ophioniformis.
Common name: Currant clearwing moth

Synanthedon tipuliformis is a moth of the family Sesiidae. It is endemic to the Palearctic ecozone (Europe, Asia north of the Himalaya foothills, northern Africa, and the northern, central parts of the Arabian Peninsula). It is an invasive species in North America and the Australasia ecozone which includes New Zealand.

Synanthedon tipuliformis is a small moth with a total wingspan of no more that 18mm. The wings are transparent with a dark orange leading edge, and some other black markings. 
The body is quite distinctive, it is dark brown with three narrow yellow girth rings and a dark, fan shape tuff at the end of its abdomen. The colouring of this moth sometimes leads to a mistaken identification of wasp or hover fly. This moth flies by day.
The moths host is the Ribes species which includes blackcurrants, redcurrants and gooseberries. The adult moth lays eggs on the buds and canes of the plant and they hatch within 2 weeks. The new larvae then bury into the canes to feed internally on the pithy centre throughout the year until the following spring, when the cycle starts again with the moth emerging from the stem from within which the larvae pupate and over-winter. The larvae weakens the canes, reduces plant food reserves, affecting sap flow, reducing fruit yield and quality and can shorten the life of the plant by many years.



Moths mating.
  

The larvae.