REC, Dogwood Insect Pests: Identification and Management, Flowering Dogwood Trees: Selection, Care, and Management of Disease Problems, Why Are Leyland Cypress Trees Turning Brown, Azaleas and Rhododendrons: Common Diseases and Abiotic Problems, Boxwood: Preventing and Managing Common Pests and Diseases, Diagnosing Problems of Azaleas and Rhododendrons, Ornamental Fruit Trees: Preventing, Diagnosing, and Managing Problems. Most … The Berberis sawfly, Arge berberidis, has caterpillars that feed gregariously on species of berberis and mahonia shrubs and may cause severe defoliation. The wing covers have wavy, light-colored indentations. Photo: Terry S. Price, Georgia Forestry Commission,, The dogwood twig borer is a less serious pest of dogwood. Once identified, gardeners understandably then want to know how to control sawfly caterpillars. A number of caterpillars of butterflies and moths can also be pests of vegetables. To have a digest of information delivered straight to your email inbox, visit They are about the size of a pinhead and light-colored. The Dogwood Sawfly is black with a few, small, white markings, but the easiest to notice are at the tips of its antennae. These leaves, complete with clusters of caterpillars, can easily be removed before the caterpillars have time to grow and spread to the whole plant. The dogwood sawfly, Macremphytus sp., is an interesting sawfly because the second larval instar (stage in the larval development between molts) is covered in a white waxy covering and the last larval instar is yellow and black. This site uses cookies. Sawfly larvae come in a fascinating variety of shapes, colours and sizes – most ranging from 10-40mm in length. They eventually become pale cream color with black spots and grow to about an inch long at which time they are yellow and black. Any cookies that may not be particularly necessary for the website to function and is used specifically to collect user personal data via analytics, ads, other embedded contents are termed as non-necessary cookies. As you can see, they consumed about 50% of the leaves before we spied them. To monitor for this pest, look for tiny (1/8 inch long), oystershell shaped, and brown to gray scale covers on the bark of wilting or dead branches. Refer to our pages on c. We embody the University's land-grant mission with a commitment to eliminate hunger, preserve our natural resources, improve quality of life, and empower the next generation through world-class education. Sawfly caterpillars have three true legs at the front, the same number as many other insect larvae, but have more ‘stumpy’ prolegs, five or more, extending down the abdomen. Notify me of followup comments via e-mail. Earlier this month, Paul in Ardmore, PA emailed us a picture of what looked like a big cluster of black and white caterpillars and wrote: "I'm wondering what these are; they only attack my yellow twig dogwood. Caterpillars have five or fewer pairs of short, fleshy prolegs, while sawflies have on pair on each abdominal segment (10 pairs of pro-legs). It will feed just under the bark in the cambium layer. The adults may be seen running over the bark of trees and fly when disturbed. They are creamy colored and excavate large, irregular tunnels in the phloem on the main trunk and larger branches which die back first. This should be done after wilting occurs and before adult emergence in the spring. Adult female scales are 3/16 inch long, black, flat, and oval. Editor’s note: This article is from the archives of the MSU Crop Advisory Team Alerts. The caterpillars may be found feeding in large numbers both on cultivated honeysuckles such as Leycestaria formosa, The Himalayan Honeysuckle and native wild species of honeysuckle. This beetle has yellow/tan wing covers with a black line down the center and along the margins. These are actually Dogwood Sawflies, Macremphytus tarsatus. Sawflies are related to bees and wasps and belong to the order Hymenoptera. One of the biggest pests of Gooseberry bushes on many allotments and gardens are sawfly caterpillars. These mature larvae will wander about in search of an overwintering site, generally in soft or decaying wood. White Caterpillar Hello bug people, I’ve had a great time looking at your site and your link to Bug Guide, but I didn’t find a match for these guys that have devoured my red twig dogwood seemingly overnight! The adult beetle emerges from infested twigs in the spring and the female lays her eggs in healthy twigs.Flagging of a branch caused by Dogwood Twig Borer infestation. No--It's a Sawfly! It is about 3/8 inch long, blue-black with two yellow bands around the abdomen, and resembles a wasp. The Skullcap sawfly caterpillar, Athalia scutellarinaea, is an uncommon species that feeds on species of Skull Cap. Check the label of any pesticide referenced to ensure your use is included. There are several scale insects, such as calico scale, cottony maple scale, and oystershell scale, that can become pests on dogwood. Dogwoods planted too deeply, inadequately watered during the first two years of establishment and drought periods, or physically wounded at the trunk (e.g., mower damage), are more susceptible to pest infestations. Dogwood Borer Damage at the Base of Flowering Dogwood. Shown are photographs of sawfly caterpillars not found on a specific foodplant. Sightings of sawfly caterpillars feeding amongst the needle leaves of pine trees are common in areas of conifer forests. These cookies will be stored in your browser only with your consent. Prune out heavily infested branches. Whereas the adult sawflies may go unnoticed the caterpillars of many species attract attention by the severe defoliation they cause when feeding in large numbers on a single plant. The large, creamy white larvae feed on species of figwort. You can tell the difference between caterpillars and sawflies by the number of fleshy legs on the abdomen. N.C. The Figwort Sawfly is commonly found in gardens. The larvae develop orange heads in late instars. The adult sawfly and caterpillars of many species are very similar and difficult to identify to species with certainty. You can tell the difference between caterpillars and sawflies by the number of fleshy legs on the abdomen. Do let us know if you spot any on the site. Crawlers are present in May. commitment to diversity. Concern for the welfare of the plant is understandably the gardeners main concern. These insects attach themselves to branches or leaves where they suck juices from the tree. There is only one generation each year, with the larva overwintering inside the twig. Many species of both cultivated and wild species of rose are hosts to sawfly larvae. We have one generation per year in North Carolina. The Pear slug sawfly caterpillar, Caliroa cerasi, as the name suggests looks more like a tiny slug. As with the other galleries it will continually be updated with new sightings. does not endorse extermination, Freaky Flyday Part 3 CORRECTION: Pergid Sawfly. The adult is an elongate (5/8 inch long) beetle with long antennae. There are several different species of sawfly larvae that feed on rose bushes. It is essential that young trees receive adequate water during establishment. Although, on smaller caterpillars this can be difficult. Small, wet areas on the bark, dead branches, adventitious growth (water sprouts on trunk and large branches), or sloughing and cracking of bark can all be symptoms of dogwood borer attack. Many sawflies are plant pests that cause noticeable-to-destructive loss of plant foliage. This isn’t always so simple as the use of pesticides can have a detrimental effect on beneficial insects, resulting in a loss of pollinating bees and natural garden pest predators such as hoverfly and ladybird larvae. Sawflies are a member of the Symphyta sub-family of the insect order Hymenoptera, a much under-researched group of insects with in excess of 400 species in the British Isles. A number of different sawfly species have caterpillars that feed on a wide variety of vegetables. Mature larvae are yellow beneath with black spots or cross-stripes above.” The Natural Land Trust website has a nice page devoted to the Dogwood Sawfly.


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