Bembecia ichneumoniformis – Six-belted Clearwing

Six-belted Clearwing (Glyne Gap, East Sussex)

Common Name: Six-belted Clearwing

Species Name: Bembecia ichneumoniformis

Description: The most common and easiest to see clearwing moth in Hastings is the nationally scarce six-belted clearwing. It is found during June to August in two sites in Hastings, Glyne Gap/Galley Hill and Hastings Country Park Nature Reserve, but is usually easy to find in both sites. It’s a very distinctive day-flying clearwing with the six yellowish bands on the abdomen, but can be overlooked when in flight as it is very similar to the solitary wasps that are numerous amongst it’s undercliff habitat. Once landed on the ground or on it’s bird’s-foot trefoil foodplant it is easy to see it is a clearwing moth with its mostly transparent wings, only edged in scales.

Conservation Designation & UK Status: Nationally Scarce category B, Southern Widespread, NBN Map

Status in Hastings: Locally common at two sites, Glyne Gap/Galley Hill area and Hastings Country Park Nature Reserve.

Factors Affecting Status: Loss of flowery undercliff habitat containing bird’s-foot trefoil at Galley Hill due to threat of naturalisation by introduced invasive Hottentot Fig.

Conservation Action in Hastings: Management Plan for Hastings Country Park Nature Reserve proposes the continuation of free functioning natural erosion which creates the flowery undercliff this species and many other scarce soft rock cliff invertebrates require. Recent Invertebrate Survey of Hastings Country Park Nature Reserve carried out to ascertain distribution of the species amongst undercliff habitat.

Six-belted Clearwing (Glyne Gap, East Sussex)

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