Eupatorium Borer or Ironweed Clearwing, Carmenta bassiformis
Sesiidae or Clearwing Family

Medium-sized moth, about an inch in wingspan. Body thick, jet black with yellow bands on abdomen and thorax, and a flattened yellow and black feathery tail. Wings clear, with black veins, and a black border. This individual is a female; males have yellow bands on the abdomen that are all about the same thickness and antennae that are completely black, while in females the yellow bands are different widths, and the antennae have white stripes.

Caterpillar is unlikely to be seen as it spends its caterpillarhood hiding inside, and eating, the roots of New York ironweed (Vernonia noveboracensis), or of Joe-Pye-weeds, and mistflower (plants in the genus Eupatorium and related genera).

A moth of the eastern and midwestern United States. Likely common in the Park, given that Joe-Pye-weeds and ironweed are common.

To me it looks like a cross between a yellow jacket and a lobster. The black and yellow warning coloration and dark, transparent wings does have a strong resemblance to a bee or yellow-jacket. Presumably it is protected by this resemblance. Wasps and yellow jackets, however, have more svelte bodies, and narrow waists, and their abdomens are pointed, ending in a stinger, rather than having a flattened feathery tail. Other clearwing moths look similar; check the details of the color scheme to distinguish them. Something similar to this in your vegetable garden is likely to be a squash borer.


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