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Clearwing moth, Yunguillo, Colombia I'm a bit puzzled by this insect. It has the superficial appearance of a clearwing butterfly, perhaps a Glasswing tiger. Yet its antennae are feathered, which suggests a moth. There's many moths mimicking butterflies, so I'd lean in that direction. However, it seems to have a thin waist unlike a butterfly or moth. I feel like I'm overlooking something directly in front of me. Colombia,Colombia 2018,Colombia South,Mocoa,Putumayo,South America,World,Yunguillo Click/tap to enlarge Promoted

Clearwing moth, Yunguillo, Colombia

I'm a bit puzzled by this insect. It has the superficial appearance of a clearwing butterfly, perhaps a Glasswing tiger. Yet its antennae are feathered, which suggests a moth. There's many moths mimicking butterflies, so I'd lean in that direction. However, it seems to have a thin waist unlike a butterfly or moth. I feel like I'm overlooking something directly in front of me.

    comments (28)

  1. Wow! So interesting. A couple things that I noticed about this insect - it has a very narrow waist and appears to have only one pair of functional wings (2nd pair = halteres)...Unless I just can't see the 2nd pair because of the wing pattern. Can you see them? This could be a hymenopteran. Or, a moth mimicking a wasp...Or a wasp mimicking a moth? Posted 7 months ago, modified 7 months ago
    1. Hadn't even though about the wings. It's hard to see but it does look like a single pair indeed. The thin waist throws me of the most. Bear with me as it's Monday night and I'm not at my sharpest, but wouldn't that rule out a moth? I don't think I've ever seen a moth with a thin waist, but do correct me if I'm wrong.

      If it would be a hymenopteran, this would be a pretty epic mimic!
      Posted 7 months ago
      1. I have never seen a thin-waisted moth. I also noticed that this insect doesn't look very fuzzy, like a moth would...but, maybe that's just my perception. Posted 7 months ago
        1. Also, it holds its wings more like a moth. Moths in the fam Sesiidae can be thin-waisted, but I don't think this thin? Posted 7 months ago
          1. Ctenuchinae are wasp-like.

            This insect doesn't have furry moth legs either.

            Sorry, I'm just thinking out loud here...
            Posted 7 months ago
            1. I just scrolled through Andreas Kay's hymenoptera and diptera lists on flickr and found nothing similar. So, maybe it is a lepidopteran? Posted 7 months ago
              1. I'm thinking tiger moth, maybe Euchromiina. Posted 7 months ago
                1. Maybe Neotrichura sp. Posted 7 months ago
            2. Please do continue and don't hold back. I've also posted it in the FB group now, and already got 2 responses saying this is a moth: Arctiinae.

              Probably correct but I still have this open question about the tiny waist. Arctiinae has species with narrow bodies but I'm not specifically seeing a tiny waist relative to a broad thorax and abdomen. The examples have a uniformly wide or thin body, not this hour glass figure.
              Posted 7 months ago
              1. I can't find a match for the waist so far at all. I have been searching in Subtribe Euchromiina (arctiinae) as that has been the closest matches so far. Posted 7 months ago
            3. Correcting my previous post:
              https://www.inaturalist.org/observations/19731683

              Looks like there are examples with wasp-like waists, so this looks to be a clearwing moth like you already suggested :)
              Posted 7 months ago
              1. You can see the resemblance:
                https://www.flickr.com/photos/mcampis/43411113434/
                Posted 7 months ago
                1. Sesiid moths are definitely thin and Synanthedon is a good place to search. One problem with Synanthedon is that I can't find any that hold their wings like yours does. Posted 7 months ago, modified 7 months ago
                  1. I am stumped right now as to a genus. Hopefully you'll get an answer in your group. Posted 7 months ago
                  2. By Sesiid you mean Sesiidae? I believe these are butterflies, not moths? Arctiinae are moths, but hard to find a visual resemblance :) Posted 7 months ago
                    1. Yes - Sesiidae...they are moths. Posted 7 months ago
                      1. Ugh, you're right! I blame dutch Wikipedia:
                        "De wespvlinders (Sesiidae) zijn een familie van vlinders in de superfamilie Cossoidea"

                        ....The waspBUTTERFLIES are a family of BUTTERFLIES....

                        Posted 7 months ago
                        1. Blame away!

                          Here are some genera to consider:

                          Dinia sp. - some have the thickness mid-antennae

                          Trichura sp.- some have thin-ish waists

                          Clystea sp. - my least fave guess

                          And, I wonder if the waist is as thin as it seems - it looks like the edges are white, which would add a bit of thickness.
                          Posted 7 months ago, modified 7 months ago
  2. Syntrichura sp.?? Posted 7 months ago
      1. I don't know its distribution, but Syntrichura reba is close. Posted 7 months ago
        1. Or, Syntrichura brodea. Posted 7 months ago
          1. btw, I saw your post on FB and commented there to see if others agree with this genus. It looks pretty solid to me though. Posted 7 months ago
            1. Agreed! Posted 7 months ago
          2. Wow some incredible detective work, Christine!
            That observation from Peru looks 100% identical, so the genus must match for sure.

            Syntrichura reba seems like a really good candidate. Body type and color seem to match, even though I can only find 2 photos online (one of which has red highlights).

            Syntrichura brodea doesn't give me back any photos, just drawings and a link back to our discussion here lol.

            Quite tempted at Syntrichura reba, interestingly Wikipedia describes the genus as quite small, yet doesn't include both species you suggested, it must be lagging behind quite a bit. It's good though that the genus is not big.
            Posted 7 months ago
            1. I can't find the photo for S. brodea?! I don't know if I meant to type a different species name or what?! Lol, old age ;P Posted 7 months ago
              1. Heh! Well the species does exist and Google often changes its results and are in part personal, so could very well be true that you did see it. Posted 7 months ago
                1. Could be. Alas, we may never know. Posted 7 months ago

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By Ferdy Christant

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Uploaded Feb 4, 2019. Captured Oct 23, 2018 08:46.
  • NIKON D810
  • f/11.0
  • 1/60s
  • ISO64
  • 105mm