This is actually a moth and its recent sighting in Texas is rare

The hornet clearwing moth isn’t commonly seen in Texas

This is a photo of a hornet clearwing moth seen in Dallas and posted to the iNaturalist website by user torayama. It has been zoomed in from its original version.
This is a photo of a hornet clearwing moth seen in Dallas and posted to the iNaturalist website by user torayama. It has been zoomed in from its original version. (iNaturalist)

DALLAS – It might look like a hornet but this unique insect is actually just a moth with a unique coloring that mimics bees and wasps.

A hornet clearwing moth was spotted in Dallas on April 14 and Texas Parks and Wildlife officials shared photos of the sighting to Facebook on Wednesday.

This is a moth, not a wasp. Clearwing moths mimic bees and wasps - a smart way to deter predators! 📷 https://www.inaturalist.org/observations/74002021

Posted by Texas Parks and Wildlife on Wednesday, April 28, 2021

Sam Kieschnick, an urban biologist in the Dallas area who works with TPWD, said he noticed a photo of the moth posted on the website iNaturalist.

KSAT reached out to TPWD officials who said the hornet clearwing moth is not common in Texas.

“A user had noticed the moth outside their vehicle and after posting it on the app, it was later identified by a moth expert on the platform as the hornet clearwing moth,” said TPWD spokesperson Megan Radke.

“The caterpillars of this species bore into dead or dying oak branches and are often eaten by woodpeckers,” Radke said.

According to the post from TPWD officials, the moth uses its unique coloring as a way to deter predators.

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