Immature Ash Sawfly feeding on a Leaf

Ash SawflyThis is the time of year when residents in southeastern Nebraska start looking for immature sawfly larvae on their trees.

Sawflies are an interesting group of insects related to wasps and bees. They get their name from the saw-like ovipositor the adult female uses to lay eggs.

Adult sawflies are inconspicuous wasp-like insects that do not sting.

The larval or immature stage of sawflies are plant feeders and look like hairless caterpillars (the immature stage of butterflies and moths)

Ash Sawfly Larvae (like the one in the photo right) are pale green with a yellowish marking behind the head. Damaged ash trees have leaves stripped, typically near the tips of the branches on the new growth.

Pine Sawfly LarvaePine Sawfly Larvae (photo right) are grayish-green and have a light stripe down the back, a light stripe along each side followed by a dark green stripe. Full grown larvae are about one inch long. The larvae feed in groups or colonies, often with three or four feeding together on a single needle. When disturbed, the larvae raise their heads and tails in a threatening manner. Full grown larvae feed vigorously on the needles of Scotch and Mugho pines.

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This Can You Guess It?? photo is featured in the
May 2004 NEBLINE Newsletter (Page 12 - 257 KB )

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