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Western Poplar Clearwing

Paranthrene robiniae


Wonderful male, wasp-mimicking moth! The wings have a clear window giving it the Clearwing common name. This mimics our local California Paper Wasp quite well: This species is described as having the first three segments being black but this one is a yellow variety.


Buckwheat in riparian area


First for Project Noah! Finally confirmed by Bug Guide and of course bayucca :)

No species ID suggestions


Hi bayucca, thanks for your reply. Not sure what you mean with your last sentence but I appreciate your efforts with identification!

bayucca 4 years ago

Cindy, I certainly checked Cissuvora as well ;-)...
Very similar indeed and tricky to compare with only this picture on bugguide. Trusting my eyes, I see some mince differences: In the middle of the dark band I only see one yellow ring in yours and in Cissuvora I see there an additional black ring and the yellow ring looks like being more prominent or broader in yours. The color of the antennae is also slightly different. I am not sure if I see no darker feathery-like parts on the hindwing in yours and this feature present in Cissuvora. Usually I trust my eyes, so I would still "vote" for Paranthrene robiniae. I would not be so concerned about being a lucky loser, important we have an ID at the end, whatever it is...

Sckel 4 years ago

thanks cindy. :)

Thank you Ashley! I was going to have that one as the first but thought the amazing mimicry wouldn't be as obvious. I may end up switching it anyway :)

AshleyT 4 years ago

Love the second photo!

Thank you kyleighphelps, Sckel and bayucca. Sckel, I feel the same way about your collection! bayucca, I was looking at Cissuvora ampelopsis as a possibility but was unable to find more than one reference that's credible. Hoping Bug Guide has an ID soon :)

kyleighphelps 4 years ago


Sckel 4 years ago

wonderful. I really admire your collection, cindy.

bayucca 4 years ago

Based on the markings overall, I would have suggested Paranthrene robiniae as well, beside the black parts you already mentioned. Let's see what bugguide means. I also noticed quite a great variability which makes the ID not really easier...

Thank you so much, Joan!

joan6153 4 years ago

Fantastic spotting and photos!

Thank you Gilma!

Fantastic spotting!! Great series of a gorgeous creature. Thank you for sharing, CindyBinghamKeiser

It is amazing! I almost didn't photograph it because I thought it was the wasp when I took a glance. So glad I did! I've been looking for this species for over 2 years :)

Fyn Kynd
Fyn Kynd 4 years ago

Right down to the markings behind the head!

San Diego, California, USA

Lat: 33.02, Long: -117.01

Spotted on May 19, 2014
Submitted on May 20, 2014

Related spottings

Dusky clearwing

Nearby spottings

Carpet Beetle Stiletto Fly Paper Wasp Crambid Snout Moth