Tuesday, 16 June 2015

Day 225 - Super-fly Sawflies

Tenthredo mesomela. 
Hi all today's Day 225 and today's post is about something I (and I'm sure you) see quite a lot. The most recent time was when I was at my local forest and it was very accommodating and stayed still for a very long time to (I like to think) let me take photos of it. It did move for a little bit into a different place letting me get some very nice shots of it in different positions. You'll definitely already know what I'm talking about from the title /\ and pictures >

So, here are the facts:
  • Sawflies are part of the same family as bees, wasps and, surprisingly, ants! This family is called Hymenoptera.
  • The Sawfly differs a small bit because it doesn't have a 'waist' and they have two sets of wings. more importantly, they don't sting and are harmless. Yay!
  • Females possess 'saw-like' body parts which they user to cut through plant tissue to lay their eggs.
  • In the UK there are about 107 genera
    and about 500 subspecies. Some of the most common are (in no particular order):
  1. The Apple Sawfly
  2. The Gooseberry Sawfly
  3. The Turnip Sawfly
  4. The Pear and Cherry Slugworm Sawfly
  5. The Rose Slug Sawfly (A.K.A the Rose Skeletoniser which brings me onto my next fact...)
  • If you find some leaves still attached to the plant that have become 'skeletonised' with just their veins remaining they are likely to have been eaten by Sawflies.
  • Their larvae can often be seen on the leaves and curl up into a 'little S shape' if you get too close as a protective mechanism. They can also bury themselves in developing fruits. 
Walking Away
  • Adult Sawflies can often be seen flying on warm sunny days around blossom which they then feed on.
  • The Adults live for about 2 weeks, during which time they must both find a mate and lay their eggs.
  • The Eggs hatch into larvae that look like Moth Caterpillars except they have more legs. They usually feed for 4 weeks before burying themselves in soil to pupate.
  • Infestations can occur which gardeners may have to deal with as they can attack Roses and Apples.
A bird's eye view.
  • It can be managed naturally by placing things like Roses in open areas where birds can feed on the larvae.
  • This particular Sawfly is a Tenthredo mesomela. It's seen through May to July and is seen around Meadows, Verges and Woodland Rides.
Here are some links to some more information:

Hope you enjoyed,


1 comment:

  1. These insects are so, so cool! Great post Zach - Tasha