The Moths of Suffolk
371 Lunar Hornet Moth, Sesia bembeciformis, (Hübner, 1806)

National Status : Common

Local Status : Resident (SMP Status 3)

Distribution and abundance : Scarce

Habitats : Most habitats where the foodplant occurs

Flight Period : Single-brooded; July to early August

Larval foodplants : Feeding internally within sallows and willows (Salix)

Records : Most recent records are of larvae. Newbourne Springs (N Sherman, 16.xii.1997), Stowmarket (N Sherman, 12.ii.1998), Combs Wood (N Sherman, 18.xi.1998), Ipswich (N Sherman, 2001, 2003-5), Wolves Wood (SMG, 21.ii.2001), Reydon (A Cornish, 2001), Gisleham (J Wright, 9.vii.2001), Orfordness (J Askins, 8.vii.2007)

Morley's Final Catalogue : Widely distributed in sallow-stumps, but much less prevalent than the last kind. Larvae common round Stowmarket (Bree, Nat. 1857, 274). Recorded before 1890 from Assington, Needham, Aldeburgh, Beccles and Mildenhall. Larvae are common in stumps of salix at Elmswell (Sparke, 1900).

Wingspan details : Forewing 15-19mm, Wingspan 32-44mm

Identification

Confusion species
    AdultHornet Moth, Sesia apiformis

Compare confusion species
    Adult

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Gisleham, Suffolk (9.vii.2001) © J Wright

Life history chart
JFMAMJJASOND
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

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Larval feeding signs - North Cove, Suffolk (9.vi.2012) © P. Bryant
Hatched from log collected with larval boring in - Ipswich, Suffolk (16.vi.2014) © Neil Sherman
Hatched from log collected with larval boring in - Ipswich, Suffolk (16.vi.2014) © Neil Sherman
 
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Hatched from log collected with larval boring in - Ipswich, Suffolk (16.vi.2014) © Neil Sherman