The adult females can occasionally be seen laying their eggs on freshly-cut birch tree stumps. The caterpillars feed inside the tree stump or trunk from July to the following May, overwintering as larvae inside a cocoon.

Size and Family

  • Family – Clearwing moths (Sesiidae)
  • Small Sized
  • Wingspan Range – 24-28mm

Conservation status

  • UK BAP: Not listed
  • Nationally Scarce B

Caterpillar Food Plants

Downy birch (Betula pubescens), Silver Birch (Betula pendula) and occasionally Alder (Alnus glutinosa)

Habitat

Light woodland with birches, especially where coppincing or felling has recently taken place. Also heathland with birch and alder scrub.

Distribution

  • Countries – England, Wales and Scotland
  • Nationally Scarce B. Well distributed in southern England from Devon to Kent and north to Lancashire and Yorkshire. Also recorded in the north of Wales and in Glamorgan as well as Invernes-shire, Aberdeenshire and Kincardineshire in Scotland. Rare on Jersey.
Large Red-belted Clearwing - Ryszard Szczygieł

Large Red-belted Clearwing

Large Red-belted Clearwing - Allan Drewitt

Large Red-belted Clearwing

Large Red-belted Clearwing - Ryszard Szczygieł

Large Red-belted Clearwing

Large Red-belted Clearwing - Ryszard Szczygieł

Large Red-belted Clearwing

Large Red-belted Clearwing - Garry Barlow

Large Red-belted Clearwing

Large Red-belted Clearwing (female) - Pierre Bornand

Large Red-belted Clearwing (female)

Large Red-belted Clearwing (female egglaying) - Pierre Bornand

Large Red-belted Clearwing (female egglaying)