Moths of North Carolina
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Common Name:
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View PDFSesiidae Members:
Podosesia Members:
4 NC Records

Podosesia aureocincta Purrington & Nielsen, 1977 - Banded Ash Clearwing Moth

Superfamily: Sesioidea Family: SesiidaeSubfamily: SesiinaeTribe: SynanthedoniniP3 Number: 640131.00 MONA Number: 2588.00
Comments: One of 30 species of sesiids, broadly known as clearwing borers, currently recognized as occurring in NC. P. aureocincta is one of two species of Podosesia found in the state. The taxonomy of several groups in this family remains vexing, with some species undoubtedly complexes of several, as-yet undifferentiated species.
Field Guide Descriptions: Covell (1984).Online Photographs: MPG, BugGuide, iNaturalist, Google, BAMONA, GBIF, BOLD                                                                                 
Adult Markings: Sexes similar. Thorax brownish-black with red scales scattered above base of wings and immediately adjacent to abdomen. Abdomen brownish-black, constricted at the base, more so in males. Distinctive, complete or nearly complete yellow orange band on anterior margin of segment 4. Anal tuft brownish-black, pointed. Forewing brownish-black, opaque but for a small hyaline area at base, red on basal margins. Hindwing hyaline with narrow, black margins (Eichlin & Duckworth, 1988). Terminal half of legs yellow, proximal half mixed red, yellow, and black, third pair long, dangled beneath body in slow, hovering flight in the manner of paper wasps. Antennae bicolored laterally, brownish-black and yellow-orange. Wing length 10-17 mm (Eichlin & Duckworth, 1988). Similar species: Very similar to closely related P. syringae, but that species lacks the yellow orange band on segment 4. Absolute specific differentiation may require genitalic dissection.
Structural photos
Immatures and Development: Larvae burrow into living wood of branches or trunk of host trees, where they mature and overwinter in tunnels. They continue feeding into the following summer and pupate in July or August (Taft, Smitley & Snow, 2004).
Distribution in North Carolina
County Map: Clicking on a county returns the records for the species in that county.
Flight Dates:
 High Mountains (HM) ≥ 4,000 ft.
 Low Mountains (LM) < 4,000 ft.
 Piedmont (Pd)
 Coastal Plain (CP)

Click on graph to enlarge
Habitats and Life History
Habitats: Rural, urban, and forested areas where its food plant occurs.
Larval Host Plants: Known only from ashes (Fraxinus spp.). - View
Observation Methods: So far as is known does not come to lights but may visit flowers. Most easily seen by employing synthetic pheromone traps, to which males are strongly attracted (see Taft, Smitley, & Snow, 2004, for list of species-specific pheromone blends).
See also Habitat Account for General Ash Forests
Status in North Carolina
Natural Heritage Program Status:
Natural Heritage Program Ranks: GNR [S1S2]
State Protection:
Comments: Poorly understood in NC with only a handful of records, all from the mountains. Its similarity to and probable confusion with P. syringae may skew our understanding of its true status in the state. P. aureocincta does not pose a threat to ash trees in North Carolina, given the prevalence of Fraxinus in the state. However, the arrival of the Emerald Ash Borer beetle (Agrilus planipennis) in the state in 2013 could potentially impact populations of P. syringae in the future.

 Photo Gallery for Podosesia aureocincta - Banded Ash Clearwing Moth

Photos: 5

Recorded by: Jim Petranka on 2019-09-07
Madison Co.
Recorded by: Jim Petranka and Becky Elkin on 2018-09-10
Madison Co.
Recorded by: Jim Petranka and Becky Elkin on 2018-09-10
Madison Co.
Recorded by: Jim Petranka and Becky Elkin on 2018-09-08
Madison Co.
Recorded by: Jim Petranka and Becky Elkin on 2018-09-05
Madison Co.
Comment: Specimen was captured in a pheromone trap and identified by JB Sullivan based on genitalia (see structural photos above). The collection site was at 2200’ near a mixed pine-hardwood forest with numerous American Ash saplings.