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Photo#290361
Sycamore Borer in California - Synanthedon resplendens - female

Sycamore Borer in California - Synanthedon resplendens - Female
Rancho Santa Ana Botanic Garden, Claremont, Los Angeles County, California, USA
June 17, 2009
Around mid-day, I found this stunning moth resting in the shade on the side of a low concrete retaining wall. Not the most lovely of backdrops for this beauty, but it was still a pleasure to see it! Although I approached slowly at first, it actually tolerated me getting the camera lens within inches of it without so much as flinching. I think it is quite possible that this is Synanthedon resplendens (Sycamore Borer) -- please see these images already in the guide which were taken by Hartmut Wisch at the same location. Can someone confirm that I am at least in the right genus, if not actually correct on the species? Thanks!

Images of this individual: tag all
Sycamore Borer in California - Synanthedon resplendens - female Sycamore Borer in California - Synanthedon resplendens - female

Great photos, Harsi -
yours appears to be a female considering the mostly yellow anal tuft, and generally more yellow appearance. Males have a dark (brownish-black) anal tuft, and are generally darker.
The one I posted a couple of years ago (also from RSABG) was nectaring in Asclepias fascicularis across from the main building, near the pond. I haven't seen those plants in that area this year, but the host plants (Sycamore, and Coast live oak) are nearby.
By the way I was curious whether any other images of this sp. had been posted. There's a post from the Long Beach area, but of different specimens that should be unlinked: 1 .

 
Well, I know where I will look...
...for them again next time I'm at the gardens! The spot you photographed at is pretty darn close to where I photographed mine (directly under a large Sycamore tree, I believe). As I already said, this one gave me a really nice photo op, but I would love to be able to see a more active specimen like you did...

Regarding other live images of this species, aside from those you already referenced in Long Beach, I haven't come up with anything. Our photos are the only ones currently on MPG. There was another one on that page from Tom Murray, but it has recently been determined to actually be S. bibionipennis.

2582 - Synanthedon resplendens
Confirmed by Tom Eichlin and William Taft, to whom I sent the photo. (no rsvp, thanks)

 
No rsvp necessary...
...but you have my thanks, nevertheless! I really appreciate your effort in confirming the ID on this one.

 
Harsi, that is really something!
I thought of making one from parts of a wasp, a moth, and some feathers, but decided that my fraud would be discovered!

 
Yes, I'm sure it would be a poor substitute...
...for the real thing. But, your crafty idea certainly made me smile!

When I was still quite some distance away from it, I actually did think that I had spotted a large resting yellowjacket. You can only imagine how happy and wonderfully surprised I was to discover this super-cool moth instead! For the sake of photography, I'm glad that it was so sedentary, but someday I would love to see one of these flitting about the foliage so I could see whether they are as reminiscent of wasps in their behavior as they are in their appearance...

 
Often I just go with my instincts...
I totally understand what you mean when you say you thought it was something else, at first!

Often I just go with my instincts...when they say, "There is something different about that ____." My eyes just aren't sharp enough to see what it is, but if I'm lucky, I will get a photo that will!

That has to be the most unusual looking moth I've ever seen!!!