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European Pine Sawfly

April 28, 1999
European pine sawfly larvae have been reported by The Morton Arboretum in northeastern Illinois and also in Bloomington. These insects feed mostly on mugo and scotch pine, but they will also attack other pines. In northern Illinois, they are only about 1/4 inch long, but already you can see black heads. When fully grown, sawflies will be from 3/4 to 1 inch long and will have several light and dark green stripes on each side of their body. Their head and first three pairs of legs are black. The larvae feed for weeks on old conifer needles but are finished feeding before the current year’s needles emerge. Birds feed on the larvae and rodents eat the pupae in the soil, but these predators are usually inadequate to control the larvae in urban areas. The larvae can easily be removed by hand because they feed in groups that usually number 20 or more. For chemical recommendations, refer to the Illinois Commercial Landscape Turfgrass Pest & Management Handbook 1998–1999. (The Morton Arboretum and Phil Nixon)
Author: Phil Nixon staff at The Morton Arboretum


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