Thursday, May 29, 2014

Sawfly larva


Twitter can be a wonderful resource. Within half an hour of posting a request for help in identifying this sawfly larva, it had been identified by @SK53onOSM and Colin Perkins (@PershoreColin) as Apethymus serotinus.

For pictures of the adult insect, visit this blog




It exhibited typical sawfly larva behaviour when I gave it a gentle prod ....




........ curling itself up into a spiral.
























The key distinction between a lepidopteran (butterfly or moth) caterpillar and a sawfly caterpillar lies in the number of legs: both have three pairs of true legs at the front but lepidopteran larvae only have four pairs of prolegs behind, whereas sawfly larvae have six or more pairs of prolegs. 

4 comments:

  1. It is years since I started enjoying your posts. I do try and look now but know I still miss 9/10ths of things.

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    1. Didn't expect to keep the blog going for this long Adrian. Closing in on the 1000th. pos! All the best, Phil

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  2. Will have to remember this when trying to identify caterpillars..Thanks.

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    1. There are so many, aren't there? Sometimes the only way I can ID them is to feed the larvae until they become adult insects.

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