The adult female of the species has a wingspan of about 3.5 centimeters. It is dark metallic blue in color with an orange band around the abdomen. It has opaque forewings and clear hindwings. The male is smaller and more slender, and both pairs of wings are clear. The larva is up to 3.5 centimeters long and white with a brown head.
The host plants are trees and shrubs of the genus Prunus, such as peach, cherry, and apricot. The female lays eggs around the base of the trunk and the larvae bore into it. They feed on the cambium, producing damage so severe it often kills the tree.
- Strickland, J. S. Synanthedon exitiosa. Featured Creatures. Department of Entomology and Nematology. University of Florida IFAS. Updated October 2014.