The Moths of Suffolk
370 Hornet Moth, Sesia apiformis, (Clerck, 1759)

National Status : Notable Nb

Local Status : Resident (SMP Status 3)

Distribution and abundance : Widespread and reasonably common

Habitats : Open woodland, parks, poplar plantations, poplar trees in open situations

Flight Period : Single-brooded; mid-June to early August

Larval foodplants : Feeding internally at ground level on Black Poplar (Populus nigra), Aspen (Populus tremula), Lombardy-poplar (Populus nigra x italica) and other poplars (Populus)

Morley's Final Catalogue : Joseph Greene's observation that 'the larvae must do great injury, as the poplars round Playford were quite honey-combed by them' (Nat. 1857, 274; cf. Ent. Wk. Int. ii, 18) holds good throughout the whole of high Suffolk, where the bases of the best-grown black-poplars display their savages. Rushmere, Henley, Hardwick and Barton Mills (Sparke); in grey poplar at Bury (Norgate); Southwold (D), in plenty during 1900-15 and at Easton Bavents (Mly).

Wingspan details : Forewing 17-21mm, Wingspan 34-50mm

Identification

Confusion species
    AdultLunar Hornet Moth, Sesia bembeciformis

Compare confusion species
    Adult

Click to view full size image
Found crawling up Poplar trunk at 7.45 a.m - Ipswich, Suffolk (vii.2002) © N Sherman

Flight chart
JFMAMJJASOND
100 83 83

Life history chart
JFMAMJJASOND
ovaimago ovaimago ovalarva larva larva larva larva larva
larva larva larva larva larva larva larva larva larva larval diapause larval diapause larval diapause
larval diapause larval diapause larval diapause pupa pupa no datano datano datano datano datano datano data

Further Photographs

Click to view full size imageClick to view full size imageClick to view full size image
Old exit holes at base of Poplar tree - Ipswich, Suffolk (iv.2007) © Neil Sherman
Attracted to pheromone lure - Theberton wood, Suffolk (vii.2007) © Neil Sherman
Hatched from cocoon collected in April from base of Aspen tree. - Wolves wood, Suffolk (v.2008) © Neil Sherman
 
Click to view full size imageClick to view full size imageClick to view full size image
Attracted to 'hor' pheromone lure - Thetford, Norfolk (2.vii.2009) © Lee Gregory
Attracted to 'hor' pheromone lure - Thetford, Norfolk (2.vii.2009) © Lee Gregory
Attracted to 'hor' pheromone lure - Thetford, Norfolk (2.vii.2009) © Lee Gregory
 
Click to view full size imageClick to view full size imageClick to view full size image
Attracted to 'hor' pheromone lure - Thetford, Norfolk (2.vii.2009) © Lee Gregory
Barton Mills, Suffolk (4.vii.2009) © Lee Gregory
Mating on Nettles growing over Poplar stump - Bradwell, Suffolk (7.vi.2009) © Kevin Knights
 
Click to view full size image
Pair found in cop - S'Albufera Marsh reserve, Mallorca, Spain (23.iv.2014) © Neil Sherman