The Moths of Suffolk
374 Yellow-legged Clearwing, Synanthedon vespiformis, (Linnaeus, 1761)

National Status : Notable Nb

Local Status : Resident (SMP Status 3)

Distribution and abundance : Scarce

Habitats : Open woodland, parks and hedgerows

Flight Period : Single-brooded; late May to mid-August

Larval foodplants : Pedunculate oak and Sweet Chestnut, also other types of oak, Wych Elm, birches and cherries

Records : Minsmere (C Anderson, 1994 & 1995; R Harvey & J Higgott, 2005-6), Ipswich (N Sherman, 2004-6), Staverton (N Sherman, 2004), Captain's Wood (N Sherman, 16.vii.2006)

Comments : Probably under-recorded

Morley's Final Catalogue : Breeds in the bark of felled oak-stools, emerging the second year. Rarely seen, but doubtless commoner than is thought: present taxation is affording it a splendid number of such tombstone stools! One taken at Buxhall by Mr. Levett (Crewe, Nat. 1857, 273).Bentley (Harwood); Glemham Magna (Bloomf.). A few were flying round old oak-stools in Parham Wood during both 1917-18 in mid-August; and about a dozen in all occurred on osiers in Thorndon Fen during June, July and August 1923-6 (Mly). Common at Ampton and Timworth in 1909 (Nurse: cf. Entom. 1911, p. 94).

Wingspan details : Forewing 10-12mm, Wingspan 19-27mm


Confusion species
    AdultCurrant Clearwing, Synanthedon tipuliformis
Welsh Clearwing, Synanthedon scoliaeformis
Sallow Clearwing, Synanthedon flaviventris
Orange-tailed Clearwing, Synanthedon andrenaeformis
Six-belted Clearwing, Bembecia ichneumoniformis

Compare confusion species

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Male - Staverton Park, Suffolk (vi.2004) © N Sherman

Flight chart
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Life history chart
larva larva larva larva larvapupaimago ovapupaimago ovapupaimago ovalarvaimago larva larva larva larva

Further Photographs

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Female - Ipswich, Suffolk (vii.2004) © N Sherman
Somerset ( © L Gregory
Male - Ipswich, Suffolk (vii.2006) © Neil Sherman
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Adult at pheromone lure - Barnhamcross common, Suffolk ( © Neil Sherman