The big confusion with sawflies comes when looking at their immature form. It looks like a caterpillar but it is NOT. This is a key to understanding these critters and to determine how to control them.

Caterpillars turn into butterflies or moths. They have 3 pairs of true legs on the thorax and up to 5 pairs of prolegs on their abdomen.

Sawfly larvae turn into a type of fly. They also have 3 pairs of true legs on their thorax but they will have six or more pairs of prolegs on their abdomen.

Some species of sawfly feed on the entire surface of a leaf (or needle) while a few are leaf miners and feed inside between the layers of the leaf.

Adults may be colored like wasps with yellow or black marking while some are entirely black.

One of the more common sawfly pests in the landscape is the European pine sawfly.

Note: We have provided some general information and observations on this topic aimed at the home gardener. Before you take any serious action in your landscape, check with your state's land grant university's Cooperative Extension Service for the most current, appropriate, localized recommendations.

 

Types of Insects

"Name That Bug Page"

 

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