Bee Moth

Aphomia sociella

Bee Moth (Aphomia sociella) female

Female

The females are usually larger than the males, and the species is sexually dimorphic with the male being paler than the browner female. Although there maybe some character variations in this moth, the males have creamy whitish  coloured forewings, head and thorax. The forewing has small elongated dark spots along the outer margin. The female forewing is browner with conspicuous black discal spots, two on each wing, one larger than the other. Both sexes can express mixed pinkish, purplish, brownish and greenish hues in forewing colouration and patternation. which helps aid in camouflage. They also have a tendency to roll  rather than fold their wings when at rest. Forewing length 12-18mm.

Bee Moth (Aphomia sociella) female

Female

It flies June to August. Rests during the day in vegetation, and attracted by light at night. Found in various habitats, including wooded areas, scrub and gardens. A widespread and common species throughout Britain.

Bee Moth (Aphomia sociella) male

Male

The caterpillars live in bumblebee and wasp nests feeding on the comb and the brood itself.

Photographs of Bee Moth (Aphomia sociella), taken May 2014 (female) and June 2015 (male),  rear garden, Staffordshire. © Pete Hillman 2014 and 2015. Camera used Nikon D3200, with Sigma 105mm macro lens.

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