Squash Vine BorerThe Squash Vine Borer, or Melittia cucurbitae, is a moth - but it's a fascinating looking moth. Its wings are dark, matte black. Its body is a brilliant orange, the kind you see on traffic cones. Almost a crimson-orange. Its body has a row of black dots down its back. Its legs are black and white.
At first, when I spotted the squash vine borer on my squash leaf, I was delighted. The bug was so pretty! I spent quite a while taking photos of it. Then, later, when I looked it up and realized what it was, I was less pleased I'd found it on my squash leaf :). Apparenly the mom moth lays its eggs on the squash plant. Then when the larvae hatch, they burrow into the stem of the squash plant and follow that "route" all the way down to the roots of the plant and have a festival there. Not good for the plant.
Apparently if you think a squash vine borer is inside your squash plant you can slit open the stem and yank them out. We'll see if I have to try that.
Here's a view to give you a relative size of the squash vine borer. The leaves are larger than dinner plates at this point in early August.
Now a bunch of close-ups on the squash vine borer.
Bugs and Beetles in Sutton Massachusetts
Animals and Birds in Sutton Massachusetts
Sutton Massachusetts Photo Collection