San Diego Natural History Museum--Your Nature ConnectionSDNHM Field Guide

Synanthedon resplendens
Sycamore Borer


The differences between different species of Synanthedon are very minute. Overall similarities are great, and for this reason it can be difficult to classify individual specimens.


The male has a brown-black head and is mostly yellow beneath the wings. Yellow is interspersed with black on the abdomen and thorax, and the anal tuft is brown-black. Females resemble the males, but differ in small ways - females have broader forewings and an entirely yellow abdomen. Yellow powdering on the wings is stronger, and the anal tuft is yellow. In both genders, the wing span is 8-12 mm.


Synanthedon resplendens has been found from southern California to Washington and western Idaho.


The California sycamore (Platanus racemosa) is preferred, although the coast live oak (Quercus agrifolia) is also a common host.


Duckworth, W. Donald, and Thomas D. Eichlin. (1988). The Moths of America North of Mexico. Washington, D.C.: The Wedge Entomological Research Foundation.


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Distribution Map - This map highlights the Southern California locations where specimens in the SDNHM collection have been captured. See larger view.

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This particular Synanthedon resplendens specimen has characteristics more often attributed to the male of the species, such as the darker tuft and darker color on the abdomen.

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This specimen has more female characteristics, such as the yellow tuft and a more yellow body.

Text by Emily Finley in consultation with Michael Wall.
Photos by Emily Finley.

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