Each day I go out in the garden to look for bees, and each day I find only flies, damselflies, and dragonflies. So many flowers, no bees. Even the bumblebees have deserted the garden, it seems. Finally, I spied something yellow and black, about the size of a honeybee, not really buzzing, but definitely very interested in the pollen.
There are some very small (< 1/2 inch) wasps flitting about in the garden, but they rarely sit still enough on a flower to photograph. One caught my eye, though, because it did sit very still.
The clear wings, dark purple body with yellow stripes, and fan tail were good hints about where to start looking on BugGuide.net. I think this is probably a Eupatorium Clearwing Moth, whose larvae like to feed on the roots of Joe-Pye weed. Oh great! I just planted some of that in the garden last summer.
It’s interesting how many insects have copied that yellow and black body coloration of the stinging Hymenoptera. I wrote about this mimicry pattern last year, so I won’t repeat myself here. But if you would like to read more….click here.