Plant Parasites of Europe

leafminers, galls and fungi

Synanthedon formicaeformis

Synanthedon formicaeformis (Esper, 1783)

red-tipped clearwing

on Populus, Salix

Synanthedon formicaeformis

England, Norfolk, Downham-Market, © Rob Edmunds (to lure)


Like in most Sesiidae, the larva tunnels in wood that previously has been damaged, either by mechanical causes or by other wood-boring larvae, or in cankers caused by fungi or bacteria. Sometimes the larva makes a circular gallery around the branch, causing then a pear-shaped swelling. Often the exuvium remains for a long time protruding from the exit opening.

host plants

Salicaceae, oligophagous

Populus tremula; Salix alba, aurita, caprea, cinerea, x fragilis, purpurea, repens, x smithiana, triandra, viminalis.

The occurrence on poplar probably is exceptional. Redfern & Shirley state that Salix viminalis is the primary host; this is not confirmed by other sources

larva, pupa

Larva and pupa are extensively described by Bąkowski.


Sesia formicaeformis.


Aistleitner (2004a), Bachelard (2014a), Bąkowski (2013b), Bąkowski, Celadyn, Hołowiński & Zajda (2011a), Bartsch (1992a), Bella, Bartsch & Laštůvka (2017a), Buhr (1965a) Ebert (ed, 1997a), Hellrigl (2010a), Houard (1908a), Kusdas & Reichl (eds, 1974a), Lambinon Schneider & Feitz (2012a), Predovnik (2018a), Redfern & Shirley (2011a), Sage (2005a), Wegner (2010a).

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