PHOTO CAPTION: Synanthedon tipuliformis (Photo taken by Keith Edkins)
The Sesiidae (clearwing moths) are a family of the Lepidoptera in which the wings are transparent. Their bodies are generally striped with yellow, sometimes very brightly, and they have simple antennae. The general appearance is sufficiently similar to a wasp or hornet to make it likely that the moths gain a reduction in predation by Batesian mimicry. This enables them to be active in daylight.
There are also moths with clear wings in the Hemaris genus of the family Sphingidae. These are also known as clearwing moths in the US, but normally as Bee Hawk-Moths in Britain. These have generally fatter furrier bodies than sesiid clearwings and lack the striped coloration.
The larvae of the Sesiidae are typically wood-borers, or burrow in plant roots. Many species are serious pests of fruit-tree or timber cultivation.