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Dogwood Sawfly (Larvae)

Macremphytus tarsatus


A small, white caterpillar-like larvae with a white powdery substance, a black head and a yellow underside. The Dogwood Sawfly larvae has 3 different instars and it takes various forms during the larval stage, eating progressively more and more leaves. It is considered a pest by many because of it's often destructive effect on host plants.


Host plants are those in the Dogwood family (Cornus). They are often found on the undersides of leaves in groups. Damage can be easily spotted when there are a significant number of them.


I spotted this little larvae on a small shrub near the ground. It didn't move much at all while I was photographing it. The white, chalky substance indicates this larvae is it it's second instar. From the photo I took with the larvae facing down, the damage to the leaf is easily seen.

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Spotted by

Dryden, Ontario, Canada

Spotted on Aug 26, 2013
Submitted on Aug 28, 2013

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