Currant Clearwing

  • Currant Clearwing
    Currant Clearwing

Scientific name: Synanthedon tipuliformis

June to July. Britain and Ireland. Small, transparent wings. Said to mimics wasps or hornets for protection from predators. Can be seen in gardens, allotments and fruit fields. Often found near currant bushes.

All Britain's resident clearwing moths fly by day. Several are superficially similar. This clearwing is small and black with a yellow collar and two yellow lines along the thorax which are absent on the similar Sallow Clearwing.  Females have three and males have four thin yellow bands across the abdomen. The dark outer band on the forewing is streaked with orange on the Currant Clearwing which helps to distinguish it from the Thrift Clearwing.

The adults fly by day in sunny weather, often around larval foodplants and can also be found resting on leaves.  Males are readily attracted to females, often in great numbers. The caterpillars can be found from August to the following April or May overwintering once as larvae in a stem of the foodplant.

Size and Family

  • Family – Clearwings (Sesiids)
  • Small Sized 
  • Wingspan Range 16-20mm

Conservation Status

  • UK BAP: Not listed
  • Scarce (Nationally Scarce B)

Caterpillar Food Plants

Cultivated and sometimes wild Black Currant (Ribes nigrum) and Red Currant (Ribes rubrum), less frequently on Gooseberry (Ribes uva-crispa).


Found in rural and urban locations where foodplants occur.  They seem to favour neglected bushes in sheltered, sunny positions.  Occasionally reported on wild currants along stream banks, in damp woods and fenland margins.


  • Countries – England, Wales, Scotland, Ireland
  • Nationally Scarce B. Widespread throughout England. Also widespread in Wales, Scotland and Ireland, but more restricted in distribution. Possibly overlooked.

Similar species