This insect was on a playground in Hong Kong this past weekend at eye level. I took this picture with my phone from less than 1 foot away. At first we thought it was some sort of butterfly or moth because of the fancy details on the wings. However, upon closer inspection, the body (under the wing) was stripped yellow and black and from the side profile it definitely looked like a bee / wasp of some sort. At that point we didn't want to get any closer!
Can you please help me identify what this is? I think the wings are very beautiful.
Another marvel of Nature's design!
I think the venation rules out stonefly, caddisfly, fly, ant lion, bee, wasp, lacewing.
But it looks OK for lepidoptera. I fancy moth rather than butterfly, though it is not right for one of the 'clearwings'.
That's my best guess at the moment.
If nobody else on this forum comes up with an answer...
Somebody who should be able to recognize it is Roger Kendrick - an expert in Hong Kong moths. He wrote his PhD thesis on them (http://hub.hku.hk/handle/10722/31688). He has also written 'An Illustrated Guide to the Moths of Hong Kong' (http://www.nhbs.com/an_illustrated_guide_to_the_moths_of_hong_tefno_119099.html).
He does moth identifications here - http://www.inaturalist.org/identifications/hkmoths.
Even if it turns out not to be a moth, there's a good chance he'll recognize it.
If you do get the answer that way, please post it here.
Thanks Mike! That is very helpful! I will try Roger Kendrick and will definitely post once I get an ID.
I just looked up the pictures of Lepidoptera. Although the wings look similar, the shape of the body of the insect I saw was quite different. The body was sloped downward at and tapered into something that looked like a sting. And it had yellow and black stripes and was a bit furry. If it wasn't for the wings it really looked very much like a bee. I am very intrigued. Hope I get to the bottom of this soon!
Thanks for the great link! Roger has identified it to be the Trypanophora semihyalina.
Here is a link that shows pictures of the bee-like body. This is definitely what I saw!
So happy the mystery is solved!
Doing some more digging. I'm thinking it may be something like the narrow bodied bee hawkmoth. The body and the wings look very much like this
I'm very pleased you were able to get an exact ID from Roger that quickly.
Being a Zygaenid, it has similarities with the burnet moths, eg.
(note the curved ends to the antennae).
The Zygaenidae family is mainly tropical but in the UK there are ten species, all burnets or foresters.