Virginia Creeper Clearwing
Head: Black. Nose cone (palpi) reaches to top of eyes; entirely black on female; some yellow on underside on male.
Antenna: White; base grayish-black, variable, sometimes covering up to half of the antenna; tips black, curved.
Thorax: Black with various amounts of whitish scale. Usually more defined as lines on the male.
Wings: Female front wings entirely shiny black with a reddish-orange dash at 2/3 wing length (discal cell). Male front wing transparent, except for a black patch before the red dash and a black patch at wing tip. Hind wings transparent with a black border and fringe. A black line at end of discal cell.
Legs: Black. Front legs have thick black fringe and pale yellow feet (tarsi).
Abdomen: Black with white tuft each side of first segment. Bands, if any, are faint whitish. Male has large, fan-shaped tuft at tip (not at side edges), sometimes divided. Female has a black tuft each side of abdomen tip.
Similar Species: Some Synanthedon have white on the antennae, but are more stout bodied and without the red dash in discal cell.
Size: About 18 mm long. Wingspan 24 to 27 mm.
Habitat: Deciduous forests and forest edges.
Food: Adults feed on flower nectar. Larvae feed on all Ash trees Fraxinus species; Virginia Creeper Ampelopsis quinquefolia and hybrids like Boston Ivy.
Flight Time: June to August.
Life Cycle: The larva feed on roots at ground level or several inches below. Pupation takes place within the larval galleries. One generation per year. Larvae yellowish; head mottled brown with a black band across the face.
Comments: Essex County – Ojibway Prairies. Across southern Ontario.
Note: DNA species testing at BOLD on Albuna fraxini do not have corresponding GenBank numbers, and Albuna fraxini is not listed at GenBank.
For information on synonyms, references and type specimens see next page