Eastern Willow Borer
Head: Female is entirely black, including nose cone (palpi). Male nose cone white on underside and back of head with some pale yellow.
Antenna: Black with a white streak which covers almost last half of antenna. Male white streak sometimes faded.
Thorax: Black with a yellow stripe down each side.
Wings: Both front and hind wing transparent with violet-brown margins. The tiny dark mark on hindwing and hindwing margin may be visible through to the front wing. Female wing margins lighter, more golden brown. Outer (costal) margin streaked with golden yellow. Dark bar at 2/3 wing length (discal cell). Wing tip margin very wide. Fringes brown, more golden brown on female. Underside of fore wings golden. Hindwing margins very narrow, mark at mid-wing tiny.
Legs: Black with white tufts at tips of middle and hind shins (tibiae). Feet faintly striped on male. Last segment of foot white on both male and female.
Abdomen: Black. Male tuft at abdomen tip wedge-shaped, black with white on outer edges. Female tuft straight, entirely black.
Size: 9 to 12 mm long. Wingspan 17 to 23 mm.
Habitat: Swamps, bogs, wet meadows.
Food: Willow canes and exposed roots.
Flight Time: Late in May to July.
Life Cycle: Females lay eggs in damaged canes and exposed roots of willow, especially those damaged by the larvae of the Poplar-and-Willow Weevil Cryptorhynchus lapathi. Also reported to lay eggs in galls created by Long-horned Beetle Saperda inornata. One generation per year. Larva over-winter and pupate in their tunnels in early spring.
Comments: Recorded from Algoma (Lake Superior) and Hastings Counties. *Questionable in southern Michigan and Ohio.
DNA: Three public records at BOLD:
Michigan – GenBank #592770 returns a ‘not found’ at GenBank.
One from Maine and one from Nipigon, Ontario (housed in the Smithsonian) not barcoded and with no BIN #. At GenBank, Synanthedon proxima and the western Synanthedon albicornis are not listed.
*Kellicott’s female type synonym Albuna modesta is missing. Kellicott left his collection to the Ohio State University, where he taught from 1888 to 1898, although one of his Clear-wing Borer types is in the American Museum of Natural History. His description of Albuna modesta does not match all the other descriptions of Synanthedon proxima female. Possibly his Albuna modesta is a valid species. Most records of S. proxima are northern. Kellicott’s A. modesta was from Ohio. See Types on page 2 for a list of discrepancies.
For information on synonyms, references and type specimens see next page