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Clearwing on rare Horkelia relative - Synanthedon bibionipennis

Clearwing on rare Horkelia relative - Synanthedon bibionipennis
Meadow northwest of Claraville, Piute Mountain, Kern County, California, USA
June 18, 2017
Found nectaring on Horkeliella purpurascens in a meadow at around 6500' on the east flank of Piute Mountain.

My best guess is Synanthedon with Alice's post below, where she suggests that species was associated with Horkelia cuneata growing nearby:


Powell & Opler(2011) state that S. bibionipennis has abdomen "black with segments 2 and 4 yellow dorsally and other segments variably banded". And they mention it's been reared on strawberry (Fragaria), rose (Rosa), cinquefoil (Potentilla) and probably feeds on other Rosaceae (e.g. like Horkelia and Horkeliella?). Mine has the dorsum of the abdomen more densely covered with yellow scales than most posts under that species.

Unfortunately, I can't discern sufficient characters to confidently work through the key to genus in Duckworth & Eichlin(1)(1978)...with Paranthrene, Penstemonia, and Synanthedon seeming possible outcomes. Although among those 3 genera, range considerations seem to favor Synanthedon...and using the Synanthedon key in Duckworth & Eichlin(1)(1978), my photo does seem to go best to S. bibionipennis.

Moved from Clearwing Moths.

moth id
I would agree. S. bibionipennis.

Thanks, William :-)
I had hesitated earlier, partly because my photo seems to have so much more yellow on the abdominal dorsum than all the other current posts of S. bibionipennis...with Alice's post (thumbnailed above) being the only one coming close. (Maybe associating with Horkeli(iell)a brings out more yellow? ;-)

But from your BugGuide profile bio...sounds like you have very rich experience with, and knowledge of, clearwings!

I'll move this to S. bibionipennis.