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Adult squash vine borers are robust, attractive moths with dark wings and conspicuous orange abdomens dotted with black spots. The legs are marked with orange, black, and white, and the hind legs are noticeably feathery. Adults measure about 13 mm (0.5 inch) long with a wingspan of about 32 mm (1.25 inches). The dark wings are held folded at rest; there is a short fringe of hairs on the trailing edge. Squash vine borer is a member of the clearwing moth family; translucent windows are visible in the hind wings when they are fully extended. The antennae are dark, somewhat flattened, and hooked at the tips. Overall, adult squash vine borers resemble paper wasps in appearance. They are active day fliers with a zig-zag flight and easily travel from field to field.
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Issued in furtherance of Cooperative Extension work, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, Virginia State University, and the U.S. Department of Agriculture cooperating. Edwin J. Jones, Director, Virginia Cooperative Extension, Virginia Tech, Blacksburg; M. Ray McKinnie, Administrator, 1890 Extension Program, Virginia State University, Petersburg.
May 13, 2015