Found in greenhouses, home gardens and landscaped areas across the country, leafminers are the larval (maggot) stage of an insect family that feeds between the upper and lower surfaces of leaves. On heavily infested plants it is not uncommon to find 6 or more maggots per leaf. Although damage can restrict plant growth, resulting in reduced yields and loss of vigor, healthy plants can tolerate considerable injury. Host plants include beans, blackberries, cabbage, lettuce, peppers, and a variety of ornamental flowers, citrus trees and shrubs.
- Black Vine Weevil
- Blister Beetle
- Boxelder Bugs
- Cabbage Looper
- Colorado Potato Beetle
- Striped Cucumber Beetle
- Flea Beetle
- Japanese Beetle
- Lace Bugs
- Leaf Miner
- Mites, Spider
- Pill Bugs
- Rose Chafer
- Soft Scale Insects
- Slugs and Snails
- Squash Vine Borer
- Stink Bug
- Harlequin Bug
- Tarnished Bug
- Garden Webworm
- Squash Bug
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Adults (1/10 inch long) are often black to gray flies with yellow stripes and clear wings. They are similar in appearance to small, hunched-back house flies and lay their eggs on the undersides of leaves. Larvae are worm-like maggots (1/3 inch) which are often pale yellow or green in color. They create winding tunnels that are clear, except for the trail of black fecal material (frass) left behind as they feed.
Note: In some cases, pathogenic fungi and bacteria may enter old mines left from eradicated insects. This can cause leaves to turn yellow and drop.
Mature larvae overwinter in the soil under host plants. As temperatures warm in the spring larvae pass to the pupal stage and appear as young adults in late April. Mated females use their needle-like ovipositor to lay up to 250 eggs just under the surface of the leaf epidermis. Deposited eggs may appear as small raised spots on the leaf. Within 10 days hatching larvae tunnel through the mid-leaf tissue, feeding as they go and leaving tell-tale wavy lines that are visible on the surface. Larvae mature in 2-3 weeks, and when ready to pupate, leave the leaf and drop to the soil. Once on the ground, they dig 1-2 inches into the soil and pupate. Adults emerge within 15 days as adult flies. There are several generations per year.
Various types of leafminers attack various kinds of plants. They’re found on broadleaf trees, including elm, aspen, hawthorn, and poplar as well as shrubs and bushes, including lilacs. Damage can be limited in initial stages of infestations but increase as leafminer numbers multiply, and even minor infestations, while not killing a plant, will cripple its hardiness. Leafminers are a major cause of poor harvest numbers in home gardens as they weaken individual vegetable plants. They’re especially fond of spinach leaves and their tunneling severely decreases the attractiveness and value of the crop.
How to Control
Natural, and organic control methods work best when fighting leafminer problems. That’s because they don’t harm the naturally occurring beneficial insect populations that largely keep the leafminer and other harmful pests under control. While pesticide use can encourage leafminer outbreaks, natural controls and beneficial insects prevent as well as cure these pest problems. Don’t wait until you spot leafminer tunnels in your plants’ leaves, especially if you’ve had problems with them in the past. Be prepared with the products you’ll need to prevent and destroy infestations. Then stay vigilant.
- Monitor plant leaves closely. At the first sign of tunneling, squeeze the leaf at the tunnel between two fingers to crush any larvae. Done soon enough, this killing larvae can allow plants to survive minor outbreaks. Pick off and destroy badly infested leaves in small gardens.
- The more healthy the plant, the less chance that leafminers will hurt it. Maintain plant health with organic fertilizers and proper watering to allow plants to outgrow and tolerate pest damage. Keep your soil alive by using compost and other soil amendments.
- Use floating row covers (Harvest-Guard) to prevent fly stage from laying eggs on leaves.
- The parasitic wasp Diglyphus isaea is a commercially available beneficial insect that will kill leafminer larva in the mine. The wasp is especially beneficial to indoor growers of ornamentals and vegetables.
- Use yellow or blue sticky traps to catch egg laying adults. Cover soil under infested plants with plastic mulches to prevent larvae from reaching the ground and pupating.
- Safer® BioNeem contains azadirachtin, the key insecticidal ingredient found in neem oil. This concentrated spray disrupts growth and development of pest insects and has repellent and antifeedant properties. Best of all, it’s non-toxic to honey bees and many other beneficial insects.
- Fast-acting botanical insecticides should be used as a last resort. Derived from plants which have insecticidal properties, these natural pesticides have fewer harmful side effects than synthetic chemicals and break down more quickly in the environment.
Note: Pest outbreaks often occur after general pesticide applications. This is because many of the pest’s natural enemies are affected by the pesticide.
If you have a garden, you are sure to see some bad garden insects and pests – bugs, flies, caterpillars, and wasps every day.
It’s important to know which bugs in the garden are harmful and which insects are beneficial.
In this article, we’ll share brief descriptions of 30 common “bad bugs” (including a couple often misunderstood) which you may encounter in your garden.
Read on to learn more about common garden pests identification and see our bad garden bugs pictures.
Aphids, of the family Aphididae, are also known as plant lice, green flies or ant cows.
These tiny, soft-bodied, sap-sucking insects are members of the order, Homoptera.
They are very small, no larger than the head of a pin. Most members of this family have two cornicles (tiny tubes) located on the abdomen.
They use these to suck sap from tender young plants. Although aphids are very small black bugs on plants, they can be a big problem in the garden.
An aphid infestation can stunt your plants’ growth, cause the development of galls and deformation of buds, flowers, and leaves. Aside from that, aphids carry plant viruses.
More On How To Get Rid Of Aphids Naturally
Armyworms are members of the Pseudaletia unipuncta family. They are the larvae of the owlet moth, which belongs to the Noctuidae family.
These caterpillars cause significant damage to grain crops because they tend to travel in large swarms gobbling up everything in their path.
Armyworm known as the “Beet Armyworm”
These herds of caterpillars can travel long distances on the ground in search of food and living space and are bad worms in garden soil.
A stampede of armyworms can destroy vast swathes of cotton, sugar cane, corn and other grains, just to name a few of their victims.
When it is time to pupate, they stop traveling and eating and settle down in one place to metamorphose.
The term “armyworm” is often applied to other types of caterpillars that gather to move about and feed.
More on How To Get Rid Of Garden Armyworm Pests
Black Vine Weevil
Black vine weevil is a member of the Otiorhynchus sulcatus family. It is also called the taxus weevil.
This pest eats many different types of ornamental garden plants. When it is in the larval stage, it is especially destructive to broad-leaved evergreens, such as rhododendron, hemlock, and yew.
These weevils can also be bothersome in a greenhouse setting as they like to eat tender plants such as impatiens, cyclamen, and asters.
Adult weevils are not picky. They eat a wide variety of herbaceous and deciduous plants.
Because of their broad range and voracious appetite, these root weevils are among the most devastating garden pests in North America.
More on Controlling The Black Vine Weevil Beetle
Blister beetle is a member of the Meloidae family and the insect order, Coleoptera.
There are more than 2500 species of this type of beetle.
Blister Beetle image via Flickr
They are all aptly called blister beetles because they secrete an irritant called cantharidin that causes itching, burning and blistering of the skin on contact.
It is mostly sourced from European members of the species. As garden pests go, blister beetles are both friend and foe.
The larvae help keep your grasshopper population under control by eating their eggs.
The adult red and black bugs in garden will eat up your crops.
More on How To Control Blister Beetles
Boxelder bugs are “true bugs” members of the Order: Hemiptera. They earned their name from living on the Boxelder tree.
These bugs find themselves confused with other “family members” like stink bugs, squash bugs, red-shouldered bugs, bordered plant bugs, and cicadas.
Box elder bugs have red veins sitting on top of charcoal-colored wings.
They tend to invade outbuildings, homes, and trunks of trees in the fall to hibernate when cool weather rolls in. When spring arrives they emerge and become something of a nuisance pest.
Learn more about Boxelder Bugs with 13 Facts, Information and Pest Control
Cabbage looper belongs to the Trichoplusia ni family. This caterpillar is a handsome devil with its bright green color and sporty white stripes.
Cabbage loopers are related to armyworms, and as adults, they become members of the owlet moth family.
Image ViaFlickr– CC 3.0
Adult cabbage loopers are known as Ni moths, and they can fly long distances looking for food and breeding grounds.
These large (1″) moths are rather nondescript with mottled brown wings and Y-shaped markings on the forewings.
Cabbage loopers are easy to recognize because of their distinctive coloration and markings and the fact that they have three sets of front legs.
Most caterpillars have 4 sets of front legs. Because of this leg shortage, cabbage loopers have a distinctive, looping gait, which accounts for their name.
More on Cabbage Looper Caterpillar Worms – To Identify, Kill and Get Rid Of Them
Colorado Potato Beetle
Colorado potato beetle belongs to the Leptinotarsa decemlineata family. These beetles are also commonly called potato bugs.
These voracious little insects make short work of potato plant leaves.
Potato bugs are native to the North American west. They originated in the Rocky Mountains where they ate a wild member of the potato family known as buffalo bur.
When cultivated potatoes were brought west by the pioneers, potato bugs had no trouble adjusting and enjoying the feast and have followed potato crops wherever they might lead ever since.
Today, these jaunty round beetles are commonly found on potato plants in all parts of North America.
The dime-sized beetles are easy to recognize with their bold black and gold (or small yellowbug) stripes. Their bodies are reddish orange.
They reproduce rapidly by laying as many as 500 eggs to a clutch on the undersides of the leaves of potato plants.
They can lay eggs as many as three times annually. The larvae drop to the ground and live among fallen leaves, eating the leaf litter.
You usually don’t see the larvae or pupa. You will only notice them when they emerge as adults to eat your potato plants.
More on The Colorado Potato Bug – What They Look Like and Getting Rid of Them
Striped Cucumber Beetle
Striped cucumber beetles belong to the Acalymma vittata family. These bugs have double black stripes on the wing covers.
The spotted cucumber beetle is a similar bug, but it has black spots instead of stripes.
Both of them eat plant roots as larvae and garden plants as adults.
There is also a variety that exclusively eats the pollen and silk of corn. Their larvae feed on corn roots and are called corn rootworms.
More On Cucumber Beetle Control – Getting Rid Of Striped, Spotted Cucumber Beetles
Cutworms are another relative of true armyworms and become a type of owlet moth as adults.
These caterpillars pose a great deal of harm to a variety of crops, most especially tobacco.
There are some sorts of cutworms that attack garden crops such as beans, tomatoes, and corn overnight.
They sever the roots and the stems at ground level.
They may also wreak havoc with grasses and can cause severe damage to lawns.
There are some types of cutworms that live exclusively underground and eat only plant roots.
More On Cutworm Control: How To Treat Cutworms In The Vegetable Garden
The term “flea beetle” refers to several different bad bugs who are all members of the insect sub-family known as Alticinae (Halticinae).
This sub-family is a part of the larger leaf beetle family, Chrysomelidae, which is a part of the Coleoptera order.
At less than a quarter of an inch long, flea beetles are quite tiny.
They are metallic or dark colored, and they have very strong hind legs that allow them to jump long distances (hence their nickname).
One variety or another of this bad bug can be found in all parts of the world.
They are major pests as the adults make short work of leaf crops, and the larvae decimate roots in nothing flat.
These creatures also cause damage to plants by spreading disease, such as early potato blight.
More on Flea Beetles and Controlling Them In The Garden
The Japanese beetle or Popillia japonica immigrated to the United States early in the 20th century.
Their mode of transport to the US is uncertain, but it is probable that the larvae cast away in the soil surrounding potted plants imported from Japan.
These voracious beetles feed on a vast number of plants and can decimate many nursery plants, many types of grasses and a wide variety of shrubbery and trees in a very short time.
They travel and feed in large swarms, and have been known to strip everything edible off a peach tree in a quarter of an hour, leaving the tree completely bare with pits protruding where fruit once hung.
Note: The June bug eats, feeds and does damage much like the Japanese beetle. Use the same control measures.
More on Japanese Beetle Control
Lace bugs come in many species. In fact, there are about 800 different types of lace bugs in the Tingidae insect family.
All belong to the Heteroptera order. Adult lace bugs of all sorts are usually about 2/10th of an inch in length.
They get their name from the lacy membrane that covers their wings and the upper portion of the body.
Lace bugs are sap-suckers that draw the juices from leaves. When they prey on a plant, the foliage develops yellow spots, turns brown and falls.
More on Getting Rid Of Lace Bugs
Leafhoppers are also sap-sucking insects. They are members of the Cicadellidae or Jassidae family in the Homoptera order.
These prettily colored bugs are not especially worrisome in small numbers, but when they congregate they can do a lot of damage.
See page for author ,via Wikimedia Commons
They injure plants in a wide variety of ways because they can transmit diseases, destroy the plant’s life-giving chlorophyll and suck out all the sap from stems and leaves.
These damages are just caused by feeding.
When leafhoppers lay eggs, they punch holes in plants leaving scars and eggs that will hatch out into damaging larvae.
When you see that your plant has curling leaves, leafhoppers may be the culprits.
More on Controlling Leafhopper Insects – a Diverse And Abundant Group Of Garden Pests
Leaf miner is a term that is applied to several different types of pests that live and eat inside leaves.
They come from several different orders of insects and include caterpillars and a wide variety of insect larvae and fly maggots.
If you see winding white lines or trails on leaves, suspect some sort of leaf miner. The trails may be narrow or wide.
They may be any shade ranging from nearly white to brown.
Some leaf miners burrow into leaves and cause “blotch mines”, which appear as blighted spots rather than lines.
The presence of leaf miners is not really much of a threat to plants, but it does cause unsightly damage.
The best way to deal with them is to cut off infested branches and burn them.
Insecticides are ineffective against these pests because they are protected inside the leaves.
More on How To Control Leaf Miners
The term, mealybug refers to several different members of the Pleudococcidae family.
These are very small sap-sucking insects that can be found in all locations around the world.
They are especially pesky to indoor plants, greenhouse plants, outdoor ornamentals and citrus trees.
They are called mealybugs because their bodies are covered with a sticky white powder that looks like cornmeal.
If these bugs are present, you will see females and active young (i.e. crawlers) clustered on plant veins and the underside of the leaves.
The males are winged, and you will see them flitting from place-to-place.
The various types of these bugs can be controlled through the use of insecticides, horticultural oils, insecticidal soaps or natural predators, such as ladybugs.
More on How To Get Rid Of Mealybugs
Spider mites use their two needle-like stylets to puncture the leaf undersides where they begin to suck out water and green chlorophyll plants need to produce food.
Leaves have a speckled or stippled appearance where mites are feeding.
Plants lose vigor, leaves begin to shrivel and plants overall display a lack luster appreance.
Commonly found on indoors plants, but also garden aand landscaping plants. Some mites species limit their attack to particular plant species.
More on Controlling Spider Mites Indoors and In the Garden
Pill bugs and sow bugs look very much alike, and interestingly they are not insects.
They are actually land-dwelling crustaceans and are closer kin to crawdads and shrimp than to any sort of insect.
Although these little bugs are the only crustaceans that live entirely on the land, they do need to be in a damp environment.
You will find them outdoors under rocks and leaf litter and indoors in damp areas.
They are really not much of a pest because they don’t transmit disease, eat plants, bite or sting, but they can overpopulate and become something of a nuisance.
Sweeping them up and relocating them to another damp place is preferable to killing them.
These little bugs may be a quarter to a half inch long. They are usually gray or black, and they have segmented bodies.
Sowbugs and pill bugs differ slightly in that pill bugs can roll up into a ball when threatened and are sometimes called roly-poly bugs.
Sow bugs are not able to do this. These little bugs have seven sets of legs and two sets of antennae, but you can only see one set with the naked eye.
Sowbugs also have a pair of tail-like projections at the rear, but pill bugs do not.
Pill bugs and sow bugs typically scavenge on leaf litter and other decaying organic substances.
They may occasionally eat a tender plant shoot, but overall they do very little damage.
More on Pill Bugs – Are Roly Poly Bugs A Problem In The Garden?
Rose chafer, also known as Macrodactylus subspinosus is found in areas with sandy soil and lots of vegetation. It is equally at home in orchards, ornamental trees, shrubbery and flower beds.
Adults of the species can grow up to half an inch long. These flying beetles are sometimes mistaken for wasps.
They are slender with short antennae and may be either tan or light green. Their very spiny legs may be orange or rust colored.
Adult rose chafers damage vegetation during the middle of summer.
It is typical for them to consume a wide variety of plants throughout the month of June. Late in the summer, the female lays eggs in the sand and dies.
When the eggs hatch (late in the summer or early in the fall) larvae or grubs emerge.
These grubs grow to be about three-quarters of an inch long.
They are white with a brown head and prominent legs and the typical “C-shaped” grub body.
Like other types of grubs, they feed on grass and weed roots until early winter.
During winter, they burrow down below the frost line and wait for spring. In the springtime they pupate and emerge from the soil as adult beetles.
Learn More with Tips For Controlling Hungry Rose Chafer Beetles
Soft Scale Insects
Soft scale insects are fairly large sap-sucking bugs (¼ inch long) that feed from a host plant’s vascular system, quickly draining away its life.
They tend to do the most damage during drought.
There are several varieties. Some hide by camouflaging themselves, chameleon-like.
Others produce waxy, fluffy coatings to conceal themselves. These bugs come in a variety of sizes and colors, but all cause the same sorts of problems.
When you find your plant leaves coated with sweet, sticky honeydew, it’s a sure sign you have a soft-scale insect invasion.
It’s important that you clean up the sticky mess and eliminate the garden pest for the health of your entire garden.
More on Plant Scale Insect Control
Slugs and Snails
Slugs and Snails are not insects. They are gastropods and members of the mollusk family.
They have a single, ventral foot by which they propel themselves along and also digest their food.
They like to live in shady, moist areas of the garden and enjoy eating tender young plants and seedlings, bulb shoots and some fallen fruit.
They are very fond of hostas and other plants and ground covers that grow in shady places.
If you have a slug or snail problem, you will notice holes in your plants and fruits.
If you have a problem with slugs and/or snails, you’ll find them actively feeding at night.
During the day, you can find them in cool, moist places under rocks, woodpiles, leaves, etc.
More on How To Get Rid Of Garden Snails and Slugs
Adult spittlebugs are sometimes called Hoppers, Planthoppers or Frog Hoppers.
They look like very large, healthy and somewhat gaudy leafhoppers.
These pests sport a flashy, multicolored patterning. Adult females lay eggs between the stems and sheaths of plants, very near to the ground.
These hatch into tiny yellow nymphs which turn green as they grow older.
These nymphs create “spittle” by excreting a sticky substance from the alimentary canal and mixing it with air.
If you see gobs of a spittle-like substance on your plants, you’ll know that spittlebugs are present.
Both as adults and as nymphs, these pests cause garden damage by sucking the juices from plants.
This can cause stunted plant growth and overall loss of health.
This is a particular problem for legume crops, strawberries and nursery stock.
For this reason, it’s a good idea inspect your plant regularly and remove adults and nymphs by hand and drop them into a bucket of soapy water.
Alternately, try hitting them with a strong water spray.
Learn How To Get Rid Of Spittlebug
Squash Vine Borer
Melittia cucurbitae or squash vine borer comes from Missouri.
This pest causes serious damage to both winter squash and summer squash.
Melittia Cucurbite: Squash Vine Borer – Moth – image via: Insects Unlocked | James Marchment
It also attacks pumpkins and cucumbers, as well as watermelons and muskmelons.
If you see that part of your vining squash or melon plant is wilting, suspect squash vine borers.
Examine the plant carefully. If you see something that looks like moist sawdust (i.e. “frass”) at the base of the plant, your suspicions will be confirmed.
The borers eject frass from holes they bore in plant stems. A lengthwise split in the stem is another dead giveaway.
If you see this, examine it closely. You are likely to find plump, white, brown-headed caterpillars in the split. These are your culprits.
More on Controlling The Squash Vine Borer
It’s easy to identify a stink bug. Not only do they have a distinctive, almond-like odor, they are also unusual and interesting looking.
These bugs may be between a quarter-inch and a full inch in length. they are generally half as wide as they are long.
Stink bugs (aka: shield bugs) are in the assassin bug family, so they have a shield-shaped back with a triangular, horny scale.
Even though stink bugs are related to assassin bugs, most are not beneficial. There are some exceptions, though.
Just remember that beneficial, predatory stink bugs have pointy projections on their shoulders (e.g. the two-spined soldier bug).
If you see this, your stink bug is friend and not foe!
Plant eating stiink bugs are usually yellow, green, gray or brown, but occasionally a fancy one with yellow or red markings will turn up.
You are likely to find stink bugs on a wide variety of host plants, including:
They also favor fruit trees, such as cherry, pecan, peach and apple.
Stink bugs are “true bugs”, and they eat by poking their pointy mouth parts into fruit, buds, flowers and leaves and sucking up the sap of host plants.
More on How To Get Rid of Stink Bugs
Murgantia histrionica (aka: the harlequin bug) is a very flashy member of the stink bug family.
These bugs are red and black spotted and make short work of plants in the mustard family.
They do a great deal of crop damage in the southern areas of the United States.
Harlequin Bug Murgantia histrionica, a common pest of brassicas, raised by USDA – image via USGS
More on Harlequin Bug Control: How To Get Rid Of Murgantia Histrionica
The tarnished plant bug (Lygus lineolaris) and the four-lined plant bug (Poecilocapsus lineatus) are a terrible problem for perennial plants.
These closely related bugs cause a tremendous amount of damage to a vast array of host plants.
Tarnished Bug – image via USGA
The tarnished plant bug focuses mostly on ornamental flowers. The four-lined plant bug has a voracious appetite and feeds on approximately 250 species of herbaceous plants.
The two types of bugs cause slightly differing damages.
Larvae of the four-lined plant bugs suck the cell juices out of leaves and leave behind discolored areas approximately 1/16th of an inch across.
These damaged areas often become translucent or black, then the dead tissue falls and small holes are left behind.
Adult bugs eat leaves’ upper surfaces, usually consuming the top leaves of a plant first.
When the tarnished plant bug attacks a plant, it may suffer loss of buds or foliage distortion.
This usually happens when adult bugs that have overwintered consume plant buds early in the springtime.
This sort of damage causes plants to lose height and become bushy.
If the bugs attack following the start of shoot elongation, the tips of the shoots may turn black and wither away.
Alternately, the shoot may continue to grow in a stunted and distorted manner. Stems that have been attacked often break at the injury site.
Thrips are very tiny, slim insects that grow no greater than 3/16th of an inch long.
Adults vary in color, ranging from pale shades of yellow to solid black. They have four fringed, narrow wings but do not fly well.
When they take up residence on a plant, they simply spread slowly over it rather than moving from one plant to another.
Thrips nymphs are white or light yellow, wingless and even smaller than the adults.
None of the qualities of thrips are visible to the naked eye, though. You’ll need a magnifying glass to see all of these identifying factors.
All forms of thrips pose a real threat to buds, flowers, fruit, leaves and even twigs.
When they eat, they punch holes in the host plant’s epidermal layer with a large mandible (tooth) and consume the cell sap as it flows from the puncture.
After thrips have fed, a plant’s foliage will look dull, dusty or silvery.
Some types of thrips behave like leaf miners by burrowing into leaves to feed.
Leaves that have been injured appear scarred and discolored.
When they attack flowers, the blooms become brown-streaked and wither suddenly. When fruit is attacked, its skin becomes pitted.
Although it is hard to see individual thrips, it is not hard to know that your plants are infested.
The insects tend to mass together in groups of hundreds of individuals.
When they inhabit a plant, they leave dark fecal deposits on the undersides of its leaves. These deposits are slick and hard like varnish.
There are many different species of thrips, and they may behave differently.
Some are actually beneficial in that they prey on other tiny insects such as mites and destructive thrips. Some eat fungal spores that pose a threat to plants.
On the other hand, some carry diseases from one plant to another, and some even bite human beings.
More on Getting Rid on Thrips on Plants
Hornworms are a big problem. There are two types that are especially problematic in the United States.
- Manduca quinquemaculata (tomato hornworm) has a black horn and a total of 16 diagonal stripes (8 per side).
- Manduca sexta (tobacco hornworm) has a curved red horn and a total of 7 diagonal stripes per side.
Both types are bright green with white, striped markings and a large horn at the tail end.
Both types cause a great deal of damage to members of the hemlock family:
Hornworms have voracious appetites and consume whole leaves, stems, and chunks of fruit.
Their presence is obvious because the caterpillars are so large and flashy and their damage is so visible.
Additionally, they leave fairly large, dark droppings on plant leaves and on the ground surrounding the infested plant.
More on Getting Rid Of Hornworms
The garden webworm (achyra rantailis) feeds on a wide variety of vegetables, especially beans of all sorts.
As adults, these pests are nondescript moths. They are beige or tan in color with scattered gray markings and a wingspread of approximately 3/4 of an inch.
Garden webworm By Alton N. Sparks, Jr., University of Georgia / © Bugwood.org, CC BY 3.0 us,
The caterpillars (larvae) spin webs and pull leaves in to consume them. They “skeletonize” leaves by feeding on the undersides and leaving only the veins.
The caterpillars are about an inch long and may range in color from light yellow to dark green with a lighter horizontal stripe on the back and a trio of dark spots in each body segment along the sides. These spots form a triangular shape.
More on Garden and Lawn Webworms
Fall Webworm Control: How To Get Rid Of (Hyphantria cunea)
Related: The abundant, sociable tent caterpillar. Considered pests because of their ability to quickly strip a small tree or host plant of its leaves.
Tent Caterpillar: Identifying And Getting Rid Of Tent Caterpillars
Wireworms eat many different types of field crops and common vegetables.
True to their name, these pests are long, thin and wire-like. They range in size from a quarter inch to an inch.
Wireworm – image via Flickr |Katja Schulz
Wireworms grow up to be common click beetles. These brown, segmented bad beetles range in size from a quarter inch to an inch long.
The body of a click bug is long and tapered with a “hinge” in the middle. When it feels threatened, it clicks the hinge and springs away.
Plants attacked by wireworms may not be able to germinate because the pests consume the interior of seeds and leave only an empty hull.
When a field is infested, plants may start poorly from the outset. Alternately, they may get off to a good start only to fail and die soon after.
This is because the wireworms not only eat the insides of seeds set out to germinate, they also remain in the ground and eat the roots of plants that do manage to germinate.
Soil that has not been tended, or amended and fields in which crops are not rotated for long periods of time are subject to the worst infestation.
Learn about Wireworms: What Are They and How To Control Them
The squash bug or Anasa tristis is a threat to all cucubit vine crops. These include:
Both the adult insects and the nymphs suck the juice right out of plants.
Squash bug. (Anasa nistis) – image viaUSDA
When adults overwinter, they can cause a great deal of damage when they emerge from their slumber hungry in the early spring.
They begin preying on young plant shoots as soon as they spring from the soil. This early and voracious feeding can severely stress or kill young plants.
More mature plants are able to tolerate a few squash bugs. Both adults and nymphs prefer to eat leaves, but if leaves are not available, they will eat stems and fruits.
Adult squash bugs are usually seen alone. They are flat-backed, brown or gray and about half an inch long. They have orange stripes on their bellies.
They can fly but usually simply stroll about on plants.
Nymphs are much small and swift and tend to congregate on leaves’ undersides. The nymphs are gray with very long black legs.
Earwigs are often thought of as pests, and they do cause a little damage to tender young seedlings, but they are actually quite valuable as beneficial predators.
These small, nondescript brown bugs are very helpful when it comes to keeping aphids under control.
This is especially true of the type of aphids that attack fruit trees and flowering trees.
Earwigs are about 3/4 of an inch long. They have short forewings and pincers at the tail end.
If you find that you have earwigs in your garden, you are really better off keeping them around than trying to do away with them.
More on Earwigs – Getting Rid of Pincher Bugs
Good vs. Bad Bug Knowledge Is Power
It is important to understand that just seeing one or two insect pests doesn’t necessarily mean you have a terrible problem.
A healthy garden that has a good balance of beneficial vs. detrimental insects can usually tolerate a few pests.
Learning to recognize all of the denizens of your garden is your first line of defense against “bad bugs”.
This video from the University of Georgia College of Agriculture and Environmental Sciences provides clear images and information to help you differentiate between good and bad bugs.
Managing Garden Insects Begins with a Question: Friend or Foe?
Being able to recognize bad garden bugs and keeping a vigilant eye out for them is the first step in an effective program of Integrated Pest Management (IPM).
Keen observation will go far toward keeping your garden healthy and relatively pest-free.
New music to listen to this week: Solomon Grey
Apparently good things come in twos now.
Solomon Grey are a talented duo who recently garnered praise for their composition for the Dheepan trailer by director Jacques Audiard (Rust & Bone).
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Sharing the full story, not just the headlines
Based in London, Joe Wilson and Tom Kingston have just released a live version of their latest single “Broken Light”.
Taken from their self-titled debut album, the band shot the live video for ‘Broken Light’ in a car park in Fitzrovia at their recent album showcase, which we’re premiering on The Independent today.
The band say of the track “Broken Light”: This is one of our more recent tunes and was written after both of us had just become fathers for the first time.
“I don’t think we were aware of it at the time but on reflection it seems to be a real piece of that experience and the whole new aspect of life it offers up. We had also been doing a bit of film scoring by then and it definitely affected the way we wrote – using the synths more as sound design or skeleton fo the track and building a song and arrangement within that.”
Check out the video below and let us know what you think.
Q&A with Solomon Grey
What have you been listening to recently?
We’ve been listening to a pretty eclectic mixture of music… Anna Meredith’s new album is great; Kurt Vile has been on constantly and seems to get everyone in a nice mellow mood (we both have kids); and A Winged Victory for the Sullen have become a big part of family life because their latest album seems to send the youngest passengers on a long car journey into a helpful hypnotic trance. We’ve also been really enjoying listening and getting to grips with a lot of Olafur Arnalds work. On the other end of the spectrum we grew up listening to hip-hop and the new Kendrick Lamar album has been on repeat, and after finding out about the sad passing of Phife Dawg we’ve been listening to a lot of Tribe. They were such a massive part of our childhoods.
How did the composition for Dheepan come about and how did you approach the complex themes seen in the film?
We feel extremely lucky to have some very supportive music supervisors in the film and TV world. Our music has always had a certain cinematic quality, and since we have started writing for picture as Solomon Grey this has fed back even more into the tracks and records we are making as artists. It feels like a natural progression as we have always written music in a very “visual” way – using films and videos which relate to or inspire the aesthetic.
“Revelations”, which was used in the Dheepan trailer, was originally composed for another project, but it has become one of our biggest tracks – it’s filmic, emotive and all-encompassing. Classically speaking it is quite simple melodically and harmonically, but the aim of the track was to create and build the emotional power and complexity by using layers of sound, sitting them in a certain space, and manipulating them electronically.
We were so happy when they chose to use it for the Dheepan trailer. Jacques Audiard is an incredible film maker and we are huge fans of his work.
What are your plans for summer 2016?
We are off on tour in a few weeks. Britain, Holland, Canada and the States! We can’t wait. We are the tour support for a band called Above and Beyond which is an incredible honour for us. We get to play some of the best venues in the world and it is such an amazing opportunity to introduce more people to our music. The tour only lasts four weeks so we don’t have to disappear from family life for too long, and we are going to make it count and start writing some new material while we are on the road.
It’ll be interesting to be in the States with the election campaign in full swing – to observe it from on the road while visiting all these major cities seems like a good place to get some inspiration. Who knows what we’ll end up with, but when we work on soundtracks we normally take some mics and a portable studio, collect sounds, try to get inspired and see what happens.
What was your first gig, and what’s been the best so far?
Our first gig together was years and years ago. We used to be in a covers band back in Oxford playing funk and soul: Otis Redding, Al Green, the Commitments, stuff like that. We did it for years before we started to properly write our own music. It was great and actually made us some real cash! We were a ten piece so it was a good gang. We can’t even remember the first one but we did some ridiculous gigs.
One which sticks in the mind is when we performed for a cancer charity in an athletics stadium in Oxford. We were told to be prepared for a big crowd and we were all pretty hyped for our first “stadium” show. We arrived and there were about 10 people, and five of them were doing a sponsored run around the track. The sax player’s dad had brought binoculars but ended up as pretty much the only audience member about five feet from the front.
At the halfway point we went backstage and tried to keep morale up. Unbeknownst to us, the ten-strong crowd were holding a candlelit vigil in remembrance of all the people across the world who had died from cancer. Anyway, we came back out to play and started with James Brown’s “I Feel Good”. I don’t think any of us felt that good.
Anyway, onwards and upwards: we get to play the Royal Albert Hall and the Hollywood Bowl next month so we’ll hold off on the answer to the second part of your question until afterwards, if that’s ok. We can’t quite believe it – at least this time we know there’ll be more than 10 people there.
The “Broken Light” single is released on 3 June 2016 via Decca Records. The band perform at the Royal Albert Hall in support of Above and Beyond on 5 May
Solomon’s seals are graceful woodland plants, including several species native to North America. Long grown in shade gardens for its arching stems and dainty white flowers, it was selected as the perennial plant of the year in 2013 by the Perennial Plant Association.
Solomon’s Seal Description
The foliage of Solomon’s seal is exquisite with its smooth, succulent texture and clean, tidy appearance. Resembling a stalk of asparagus at first, single unbranched stems emerge from the ground in spring, arching gracefully to reach two to four feet in height on average, each with pairs of oval leaves that are largest at the base of the stem and taper in size as they move toward the tip. Half-inch white blossoms that look like tiny lilies dangle from the stems in late spring, eventually turning into dark-colored berries. With the first frost in fall, the plant dies to the ground where it remains dormant until spring.
The plant needs shade, at least in the afternoon, and thrives in rich, moist soil. However, it is surprisingly drought-tolerant once established for such a lush-looking plant. Over time an extensive mat of rhizomes will colonize the soil, sending up stems in scattered locations over a large area. The rhizomes are very tough and hardy, so even if something happens to the aboveground portion, the plant will always re-grow from the roots.
The Perfect Shade Plant
Solomon’s seal is perfectly adapted for the conditions that make life difficult for many other shade-loving species: it grows just fine in soil thick with the roots of large trees, its rhizomes creeping around and popping up unexpectedly. Its upright architectural form compliments the many other low-growing shade plants, such as hostas, oxalis or creeping Jenny.
Maintenance is minimal. They need regular irrigation when they are young and benefit from a thick layer of mulch at all times. Spreading a layer of compost over the root zone each fall is a good way to create the optimal soil conditions for lush growth. In the fall, the stalks can be cut all the way to the ground.
A Single Pest
The plant is generally free from disease, though there is one pest that it is prone to: the Solomon’s seal sawfly. These tiny insects lay their eggs inside the stems. When they hatch the larvae crawl out and feed on the lush foliage, often completely defoliating the plants. Fortunately, the stems will always re-grow from the roots, but if an infestation of sawfly occurs, their growth can be seriously hampered. The best approach is to pick the larvae off by hand as soon as they are observed or to try killing them with an insecticidal soap.
Plants in the genus Polygonatum are considered ‘true Solomon’s seal’. Various other species go by the name ‘false Solomon’s seal’ which share some physical traits in common, but are distinguished by having flowers and berries only at the end of the stem, rather than along the length of it.
Polygonatum biflorum is native to eastern and central North America and is often referred to as Great Solomon’s seal, because it is the largest species, sometimes reaching up to six or seven feet in height.
- Prince Charming is a dwarf variety growing to only 12 inches in height.
Polygonatum odoratum is a much smaller plant from Eurasia bearing lightly fragrant flowers and often referred to as scented Solomon’s seal.
- Flore Pleno is a double-flowered scented variety.
- Variegatum has creamy white streaks on the leaves.
Elegant Yet Tough
Elegant and tough sum up the reasons Solomon’s seal is such a popular garden plant. Besides being one of the top rated shade species today, it has a long history of use a medicinal species and food plant among indigenous groups and makes a decadent, long lasting addition to flower arrangements indoors.
Glycosides, Saponins, and Flavonoids
Glycoside is a compound formed from a simple sugar and another compound by replacement of a hydroxyl group in the sugar molecule. Glycosides found in plants include some pharmacologically important products. Saponins are amphipathic glycosides grouped phenomenologically by the soap-like foaming they produce when shaken in aqueous solutions and structurally by having one or more hydrophilic glycoside moieties combined with a lipophilic triterpene derivative. Flavonoids are the largest group of plant polyphenols. Chemically, they have the general structure of a 15-carbon skeleton, which consists of two phenyl rings (A and B) and a heterocyclic ring (C) (McNaught and Wilkinson, 1997). We have compiled these different groups in one section because of their frequent occurrence in a single plant or its extract. Of course, caffeine and alkaloids can also be found in these plants (and tea is the best example), but we tried to select those experimental data in which caffeine content was controlled or minimized.
Ginseng is one of the most popular herbal supplements in the world. Athletes use ginseng for its alleged performance-enhancing attributes. However, many studies examining the pharmacological effects of ginseng on physical performance have not used sound scientific design and methodology (Bahrke et al., 2009). As a component of proprietary blends, ginseng saponins increased physical performance and delayed fatigue. For example, in an exhaustive cycling test of humans, time to exhaustion was significantly greater, the plasma lactate concentrations were significantly lower, and nonesterified fatty acid levels were significantly higher than those in the placebo treatment (Yeh et al., 2011). Recently, antifatigue properties of an American ginseng (Panax quinquefolium) were demonstrated using forced swimming test (Qi et al., 2014): the swimming time was found to be longer, blood lactate and serum urea nitrogen levels decreased, and hepatic glycogen level increased in mice treated with American ginseng extract for 28 days as compared to the control group. Additionally, the American ginseng lowered malondialdehyde (MDA) content and increased the levels of glutathione peroxidase and SOD.
Saponins, originated from leuzea or maral root (R. carthamoides), were declared to be a new class of anabolic substances first in the Soviet Union (Syrov and Kurmukov, 1976), because this plant inhabits the sub-alpine zone of Southern Siberia, Kazakhstan, the Altay region, and Western Sayani. The tested preparations taken orally diminished fat content and elevated the muscle mass under conditions of daily aerobic–anaerobic training and elevated the magnitude of “total work” estimated per 1 kg of body weight (Gadzhieva et al., 1995). Phytoecdysteroids are structural analogs of the insect molting hormone ecdysone; they have a number of proven beneficial effects on mammals, but the hormonal effects of ecdysteroids have been proven only in arthropods. Ecdysteroids were believed not to bind to the cytosolic steroid receptors; instead, they were likely to influence signal transduction pathways via membrane-bound receptors (Báthori et al., 2008). However, recently the phytoectysteroid ecdysterone was reported to stimulate protein synthesis and enhance physical performance through estrogen receptor beta (Parr et al., 2014). It is worth noting in connection to this a representative study with 45 resistance-trained males that indicated that ecdysterone (20-hydroxyecdysone, 20E) supplementation did not affect body composition or training adaptations, nor did it influence anabolic/catabolic hormone status or general markers of catabolism (Taylor et al., 2006).
A. membranaceus is a popular “Qi-tonifying” herb with a long history of use as a traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) with multiple biological functions. In experiments with male imprinting control region strain mice, exercise training combined with astragalus supplementation increased endurance exercise capacity and increased hepatic and muscle glycogen content, as well as reduced exercise-induced accumulation of the by-products blood lactate and ammonia with acute exercise challenge (Yeh et al., 2014).
An extract of an exotic plant T. terrestris is a component of several supplements that are available over the counter and widely recommended, generally as enhancers of human vitality. This plant extract is touted as a testosterone booster and remedy for impaired erectile function; therefore, it is targeted at physically active men, including male athletes. Nevertheless, a T. terrestris extract used alone without additional components does not improve androgenic status or physical performance among athletes (Pokrywka et al., 2014).
P. alte-lobatum Hayata, a rhizomatous perennial herb with high levels of polyphenols, flavonoids, and especially polysaccharides, belongs to the Liliaceae family and is endemic to Taiwan. In experiments with Sprague-Dawley rats, extracts of P. alte-lobatum dose-dependently increased endurance running time to exhaustion, SOD activity, and total antioxidant ability of blood, and dose-dependently decreased serum urea nitrogen and MDA levels after exercise. Hepatic glycogen content, an important energy source for exercise, was significantly increased with treatment (Horng et al., 2014).
G. biloba extract can increase the body’s endurance exercise capacity in mice and delay fatigue (Bing and Zhaobao, 2010). The swimming time to exhaustion was significantly prolonged in the exercised drug-treated group as compared with the exercised control group. In addition, G. biloba extract can help to increase the activity of the antioxidant enzymes in liver tissue, reduce lipid peroxidation injury in liver tissue caused by free radicals, improve athletic ability, and promote the recovery process after exercise in mice. The combined herbal supplement of Rhodiola and Gingko could also improve endurance performance by increasing oxygen consumption and protecting against fatigue in healthy male volunteers (Zhang et al., 2009). However, inconsistent results were obtained with G. biloba extract in studies on incidence and severity of acute mountain sickness following rapid ascent to high altitude of human volunteers (Leadbetter et al., 2009). It was concluded that the source and composition of G. biloba products may determine their effectiveness for prophylaxis of acute mountain sickness.
Green tea (C. sinensis) extract (GTE) and its decaffeinated preparations are widely used as antioxidants and fat burners; their antidiabetic, anticarcenogenic, and other properties are also under investigation. Pleiotropic effects of GTE consist of stimulation of lipid metabolism and gluconeogenesis, influence on respiration and antioxidative effects, cytoskeletal rearrangements, signaling, reparation of DNA, and processing of mRNA, iron deposition, and chaperon expression; effects of GTE are associated with AMPK and increased level of ROS (Hwang et al., 2009). Short-term effects of GTE are implemented through activation of, among others, catechol-O-methyl transferase, which inactivates catecholamines (dopamine, epinephrine, norepinephrine). Long-term effects include intensification of fat metabolism in skeletal muscles and impairment of hepatic adipogenesis via PGC-1α and different isoforms of PPAR, key regulators of energetic metabolism (Hodgson et al., 2013). Activation of PPARα is associated with adaptive thermogenesis, and under the influence of low temperatures it is observed to contribute to formation of slow-twitch oxidative fibers (Liang and Ward, 2006). Activating the PPARβ/δ, GTE prevents expression of inducible NO synthase in cardiomyocytes (Danesi et al., 2009). Activation of PPARγ in endothelial cells enhances their viability through modulation of expression of serine/threonine kinases (Liu et al., 2013). GTE elevates total antioxidative status and the level of catalase, simultaneously reducing the MDA level and expression of angiotensin II receptor in renal and hepatic tissues (Thomson et al., 2012). Epigallocatechin gallate, the major polyphenol of GTE, and also other catechins and/or components of GTE exert physiological effects supplementing or amplifying the final effects; these are modulation of expression of the gluconeogenesis enzymes in hepatic tissue (glucose-6-phosphatase and phosphoenolpyruvate carboxykinase) and reduced expression of the liponeogenetic enzymes (fatty acid synthase, HMG-CoA reductase, acetyl-CoA carboxylase α). It is associated with reduced expression of Srebf1 and/or Srebf2 (sterol regulatory element-binding transcription factors), which bind to promoter and suppress transcription of the aforementioned enzymes (Yasui et al., 2012). GTE regulates the level of testosterone due to influence on UDP-glucuronosyltransferase (Jenkinson et al., 2013) and inhibits glycerol-3-phosphate dehydrogenase (Kao et al., 2010). Positive effects of GTE were demonstrated in CFS (Sachdeva et al., 2010) and Duchenne muscular dystrophy (Dorchies et al., 2009).
The influence of GTE on endurance capacity and metabolism was investigated in various models of swimming or running workloads (Call et al., 2008; Novozhilov et al., 2013, 2015). Ambiguous and inconsistent data were obtained, obviously dependent on manufacturing company, features of experimental model, regimen, and duration of GTE consumption. In our experiments, we have compared decaffeinated GTE of several companies and found a decaffeinated GTE of Sunphenon series to be the most effective. In a model of exhaustive running of rats, the GTE resulted in preventing oxidative stress in RBC, decreasing acid hemolysis of RBC, and reducing reticulocytosis (Novozhilov et al., 2013). In a forced swimming test up to exhaustion, GTE administered to rats twice per day for 2 weeks provided a statistically significant increase in the swimming duration after the first week and more so after the second week as compared with control animals that consumed water (Novozhilov et al., 2015).
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Sawfly caterpillars (larvae)
Sawfly caterpillars (larvae) are often confused with the caterpillars of butterflies and moths.
Many species of sawfly have caterpillars that defoliate a wide variety of garden plants, shrubs and trees
This sawfly guide and photographic gallery is in response to the many caterpillar identification requests received for sawfly caterpillars from both wildlife observers and gardeners.
Included are tips on identifying commonly sighted sawfly caterpillars from those of other insect larvae and includes photographs of them on commonly associated foodplants.
This information will hopefully help gardeners decide if action is warranted to control caterpillar infestations.
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.
It’s probably fair to say that for every plant there is likely to be a species of sawfly caterpillar that will feed on it.
The adult sawfly and caterpillars of many species are very similar and difficult to identify to species with certainty. Knowing the host foodplant can help.
The insects derive their name from the saw-like ovipositor the females of some species use to cut open or drill holes in plants, forming a cavity into which they then lay their eggs.
The photograph left shows a female sawfly cutting into the stem of a garden rose in preparation for laying eggs.
The resulting batch of eggs are shown below.
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.
Other caterpillars can be seen in the following galleries and species pages.
Moth caterpillar gallery
Butterfly caterpillar gallery
Latest news and sightings
Other vegetable pest caterpillar
Some tips on controlling sawfly caterpillars and prevention of annual infestation are featured below the galleries
Sawfly caterpillar (larva) identification guide
Sawfly larvae come in a fascinating variety of shapes, colours and sizes – most ranging from 10-40mm in length.
For many species the most useful way to determine whether a caterpillar is a sawfly is to count the legs. Although, on smaller caterpillars this can be difficult.
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.
This can give the impression of an almost continuous line of legs (images above and left).
Moths and butterfly caterpillars have a maximium of four prolegs and a rear clasper.
Comparison examples of the most common leg arrangement of caterpillars belonging to the two largest moth groups the Noctuidae and Geometridae are shown above.
Although not very scientific, other features that may be useful when separating sawfly larvae from those of moths and butterflies are:-
More information on hairy caterpillars
Photographs and sightings of sawfly caterpillars
The gallery featured below contains photographs of some of the sawfly larvae commonly recorded on a variety of trees, garden shrubs and plants.
Some species have a common name reflecting the foodplant. However, many species are polyphagous, feeding on a number of different plants.
Due to the close similarities of many species identification may be uncertain from a photo and recorded as either probable, belonging to a likely family or with reference to the hostplant. Confirmed identifications are well received.
For those having identified their caterpillar as that of a sawfly and wishing to learn more there is an excellent on line Symphyta forum on which expert help is available to identify specific sawfly species.
Thanks to all those who’ve sent in sightings. As with the other galleries it will continually be updated with new sightings.
For other caterpillars see British Moth caterpillars, British Butterfly caterpillars, North American caterpillars and ‘coming soon’ European caterpillars, African caterpillars, Sphingidae caterpillars and Saturniidae caterpillars.
Sawfly caterpillars on trees
Sawfly caterpillars on Alder Trees
Sawfly caterpillars on Oak Trees
As might be expected a large number of different sawfly species have caterpillars that feed on oak trees.
More images and information to be added shortly
Sawfly caterpillars on Pine Trees
Sightings of sawfly caterpillars feeding amongst the needle leaves of pine trees are common in areas of conifer forests.
Diprion pini, often referred to as the Common Sawfly or Conifer Sawfly, is a pest of pine trees throughout much of Europe.
The larvae develop orange heads in late instars.
Worldwide there are several other species of sawfly caterpillars that feed on pine trees.
Those shown below (bottom) from Canada are considered likely to be Diprion similis.
Sawfly caterpillars on Willow Trees
A number of sawfly species have caterpillars that include willows and sallows amongst their larval hostplants.
Some feed gregariously while others are solitary.
The large number featured below on the trunk of a willow tree and spilling over onto some railings are likely to be a Nematus species of sawfly.
Sawfly caterpillars on Birch Trees
Sawfly caterpillars on Hawthorn Trees and hedges
The caterpillars of the Social Pear Sawfly, Neurotoma saltuum, form protective silk webs that are sometimes mistaken for the webs of several species of moths.
When on Hawthorn they are most easily confused with the caterpillars of The Hawthorn Moth, Scythropia crateagella.
Sawfly caterpillars on Pear trees
Two of the most common species of sawfly larvae to feed on the leaves of pear trees are the Social Pear sawfly, Neurotoma saltuum, and the Pear Slug Sawfly, Caliroa cerasi.
The Social Pear sawfly caterpillars form a web as feature above.
The Pear slug sawfly caterpillar, Caliroa cerasi, as the name suggests looks more like a tiny slug. Fenestrations in pear tree leaves, where only one outer skin of the leaf is eaten, are often signs of feeding Pear Slug caterpillars.
Sawfly caterpillars on Cherry tree
Social Pear sawfly larvae are also found on cherry trees as well as hawthorn and pear trees.
More sawfly caterpillars that feed on a variety of fruit trees will be added shortly.
Sawfly caterpillars on garden plants and shrubs
Sawfly caterpillars on Roses
Many species of both cultivated and wild species of rose are hosts to sawfly larvae.
Leaves are commonly denuded of leaves leaving just skeletal leaf veins.
There are several different species of sawfly larvae that feed on rose bushes.
However, due to their similarities, all species are often referred to by gardeners as Rose Sawfly larvae.
Sawfly caterpillars on Solomon’s Seal
Solomon’s Seal is a popular garden plant that’s commonly infested with large, creamy white, black dotted caterpillars better known as Solomon’s Seal Sawfly, Phymatocera aterrima.
Solomon’s Seal caterpillars are renown for defoliating the host plant.
Frequently only a skeleton of leaf ribs is left by the time the caterpillars are fully grown and ready to pupate.
Sawfly caterpillars on Iris
The Yellow Iris that’s often planted in damp areas around garden ponds is commonly fed upon by the Iris sawfly, Rhadinoceraea nicans.
The caterpillars are frequently found feeding gregariously on waterside irises and may cause severe defoliation.
More photographs, information and sightings of Iris Sawfly will be added shortly.
Sawfly caterpillars on Honeysuckle
A caterpillar frequently found in gardens and the countryside is the caterpillar of a sawfly often referred to as the The Honeysuckle Sawfly.
One of several similar species is Zaraea fasciata.
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.
Sawfly caterpillars on Berberis shrubs
The Berberis sawfly, Arge berberidis, has caterpillars that feed gregariously on species of berberis and mahonia shrubs and may cause severe defoliation.
This is a relatively recent colonist to gardens which appears to be spreading to many parts of the UK.
More information and sightings to follow.
Sawfly larvae feeding on flower heads and leaves
Many species of sawfly have caterpillars that not only feed on the leaves of plants but also on a wide variety of flower heads.
More sightings and information to be added shortly.
Sawfly caterpillars on vegetables
A number of different sawfly species have caterpillars that feed on a wide variety of vegetables.
More images to be added shortly
A number of caterpillars of butterflies and moths can also be pests of vegetables.
Sawfly caterpillars on Gooseberry bushes
One of the biggest pests of Gooseberry bushes on many allotments and gardens are sawfly caterpillars.
Several species are often referred to as Gooseberry Sawflies.
Other common names are Spotted, Common and Small Gooseberry Sawfly.
The caterpillars can also be found on Red and White Current bushes.
When in numbers the larvae strip the bushes of leaves leaving just the stems.
Sawfly caterpillars on Raspberries
Sawfly caterpillars on Skullcap
The Skullcap sawfly caterpillar, Athalia scutellarinaea, is an uncommon species that feeds on species of Skull Cap.
More information to be added shortly.
Sawfly caterpillars on Figwort
Often considered a weed, Figworts are found growing in many wildlife-friendly gardens.
The Figwort Sawfly is commonly found in gardens.
The large, creamy white larvae feed on species of figwort.
When infested by large numbers of caterpillars the plants are often completely defoliated.
More sightings and information to follow shortly.
Sawfly larvae sighted away from foodplant
Sawfly caterpillars are not always found on the foodplant.
When fully grown and ready to pupate sawfly caterpillars may be found wandering on the ground.
They may also be found on the ground if the foodplant has been depleted, forcing them go in search for another food source.
Shown are photographs of sawfly caterpillars not found on a specific foodplant.
Gardeners Sawfly caterpillar questions
How to control or eradicate sawfly caterpillars ?
Once identified, gardeners understandably then want to know how to control sawfly caterpillars.
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.
Prevention and removing recently hatched caterpillars is the best solution. A little time spent checking susceptible plants such as Roses and Solomon’s Seal in the spring and early summer is often effective.
Adult sawflies may be spotted and any dark slits in stems containing eggs can be scraped out.
Tiny windows appearing in leaves are often the first signs of hatching and feeding larvae.
These leaves, complete with clusters of caterpillars, can easily be removed before the caterpillars have time to grow and spread to the whole plant.
Another effective method is to place a bucket underneath the leaf and flick the caterpillars into it using a feather or paint brush.
If large caterpillars are found it’s surprising how effective it can be to spend a little time picking them off.
Fortunately, even during the day, when many other caterpillars hide, sawfly caterpillars are often easy to spot.
Fully grown sawfly caterpillars pupate in either leaf litter or the soil. Some species can have several generations. The turning over of soil to expose the pupae and removal of leaf litter can help reduce the number of emerging sawfly.
When will sawfly caterpillars stop feeding and disappear?
Quite often it’s just after a period when the caterpillars are at their most destructive that they suddenly disappear.
This may be because either the food source has become depleted and they have to go in search of another plant, or they are fully grown and wander off in search of somewhere to pupate in the soil or leaf litter.
The time period from hatching to pupation can be less than a month for many species.
Will plants recover from a sawfly caterpillar infestation?
Concern for the welfare of the plant is understandably the gardeners main concern.
In general, a healthy tree, shrub, fruit bush or perennial flowering plant won’t suffer long term damage as a result of a single sawfly infestation.
However, repeated attacks may cause weakening of the plant, leave it susceptible to disease and fungal infection, as well as stunt growth.
Identified Sawfly Larvae Images
Here are some examples of identified Sawfly larvae: These images are organized by family. (younger individuals on the left side, older on the right side)
For host-plant associations, check the See also section, near the bottom of the Unidentified Sawfly Larvae page.
Family Anaxyelidae – Incense Cedar Wood Wasps:
– none – (work-in-progress 2018)
Family Argidae – Argid Sawflies:
Arge coccinea Arge humeralis – Poison Ivy Sawfly Arge ochropus – Rose Sawfly Arge pectoralis – Birch Sawfly Arge quidia – Willow Oak Sawfly Arge scapularis – Elm Argid Sawfly
– – – – –
Atomacera debilis Atomacera decepta – Hibiscus Sawfly
Neoptilia malvacearum – Hollyhock Sawfly Neoptilia tora
Schizocerella lineata Schizocerella pilicornis – Purslane sawfly
Sphacophilus apios Sphacophilus cellularis
Family Cephidae – Stem Sawflies:
– none –
Family Cimbicidae – Cimbicid Sawflies:
Cimbex americana – Elm Sawfly
Family Diprionidae – Conifer Sawflies:
Diprion similis – Introduced Pine Sawfly
Gilpinia hercyniae – European Spruce Sawfly
Neodiprion abietis – Balsam Fir Sawfly Neodiprion edulicolus Neodiprion lecontei – Red-headed Pine Sawfly Neodiprion pinetum – White Pine Sawfly Neodiprion sertifer – European Pine Sawfly
– – – –
Family Orussidae – Parasitic Wood Wasps:
– none –
Family Pamphiliidae – Webspinning and Leafrolling Sawflies:
Acantholyda sp. Acantholyda erythrocephala – Pine False Webworm
Neurotoma fasciata – Cherry Webspinning Sawfly
Onycholyda amplecta Onycholyda sitkensis
Family Pergidae – Pergid Sawflies:
Family Siricidae – Horntails:
Tremex columba – Pigeon Tremex
Family Tenthredinidae – Common Sawflies:
Allantus cinctus – Curled Rose Sawfly Allantus nigritibialis
Macremphytus tarsatus – Dogwood Sawfly Macremphytus testaceus
Ametastegia equiseti Ametastegia pallipes – Violet Sawfly
Monsoma pulveratum – Green Alder Sawfly
Dimorphopteryx abnormis Dimorphopteryx melanognathus Dimorphopteryx virginicus
Eriocampa juglandis – Butternut Woollyworm Eriocampa ovata
Monophadnoides rubi – Raspberry Sawfly
Tethida barda – Black-headed Ash Sawfly
Caliroa cerasi – Pear Slug Caliroa nyssae Caliroa obsoleta
Endelomyia aethiops – Roseslug
Fenusa dohrnii – European Alder Leafminer Fenusa pumila – Birch Leafminer Fenusa ulmi – Elm Leafminer
Fenusella nana – Early Birch Leaf Edgeminer
Metallus capitalis Metallus lanceolatus Metallus rohweri
Profenusa canadensis – Hawthorn Leaf Miner Profenusa thomsoni – Amber-marked Birch Leaf Miner
– none –
Cladius difformis – Bristly Rose Slug
Trichiocampus grandis – Poplar Sawfly
Craesus castaneae Craesus latitarsus – Dusky Birch Sawfly
Hemichroa crocea – Striped Alder Sawfly
Nematus abbotii Nematus appalachia Nematus calais Nematus iridescens Nematus ostryae Nematus ribesii – Imp. Currantworm Nematus tibialis – Locust Sawfly Nematus ventralis – Willow Sawfly
– – – – – – –
Pikonema alaskense – Yellow-headed Spruce Sawfly
Pontania californica – Willow Apple Gall Sawfly
Pristiphora appendiculata Pristiphora bivittata Pristiphora erichsonii – Larch Sawfly Pristiphora geniculata – Mountain Ash Sawfly Pristiphora rufipes – Columbine Sawfly
– – – –
– none –
Macrophya sp. Macrophya nigra
– none –
– none –
– none –
Family Xiphydriidae – Xiphydriid Wood Wasps:
– none –
Family Xyelidae – Xyelid Sawflies:
Feeding and diet
Sawfly larvae feed mainly on native trees and shrubs, such as eucalypts, paperbarks and bottlebrushes, although a small number of species are parasitic.
Larvae of sawfly species that feed upon eucalypts are often seen during the day in large closely packed groups on branches or on the ground. These larvae can cause extensive damage to their food plants. One very destructive genus is the Steel-Blue Sawfly (Perga sp.) which attacks eucalypts in south-eastern Australia. These larvae secrete an irritating or distasteful liquid from their mouths. With this defence, the sawfly larvae are usually avoided by predators. They are sometimes called ‘spitfires’, although they don’t actually spit.
Melaleuca and Callistemon feeders
Sawflies are also found on Paperbarks (Melaleuca). A commonly occurring species is Pterygophorus facielongus, sometimes called the Long-tailed Sawfly. Unlike Steel-blue Sawflies, Long-tailed Sawfly larvae do not cluster in large numbers, but may sometimes cluster in small groups in the daytime. One of their favourite food plants is Melaleuca armillaris. At first the small larvae skeletonise leaves. The larger larvae eat whole leaves and can strip all the leaves from the top of the crown, feeding during both day and night.
The Bottlebrush Sawfly is another species of Pterygophorus, P. cinctus, which feeds on Bottlebrush (Callistemon).
The sawfly’s name comes from its ovipositor (or egg laying tube), which is saw-like. The female sawfly uses this ovipositor to saw a slit in plant leaves and stems, into which she then lays her eggs. The larvae of the Steel-Blue Sawfly pupate in a cocoon in the leaf litter, while Bottlebrush Sawflies pupate without a cocoon. When Long-tailed Sawfly larvae have finished feeding, they enter a mobile pre-pupal stage, seeking soft bark (such as a paperbark trunk) or soft timber in which to bore and pupate.
Danger to humans
Adult sawflies are not capable of stinging. However, the larvae may secrete an irritating liquid onto the skin or into eyes if disturbed.
(Photo by Ryan Pierse/Getty Images)
Seal Henry Olusegun Olumide Adeola Samuel, better known as the platinum singing artist, Seal, has sold out huge arenas all over the world to hear him sing. His strong, angelic voice has brought him a number of hits including the song the world loves, “Kiss From A Rose.”
When people see Seal, it’s hard not to notice the scarring on his face. Although there have long been rumors as to the cause of the scars on his face, they are the result of a type of lupus called discoid lupus erythematosus (DLE) – a condition that specifically affects the skin above the neck.
DLE is a form of lupus that usually affects young people. Intense inflammation develops in the skin, particularly in sun-exposed areas. If not treated aggressively with sun protection and anti-inflammatory medicines, “Seal-style” scarring can result.
Lupus is a condition where the immune cells attack various body tissues.
Seal has revealed in interviews that he was afflicted with this syndrome as a teen. Not only did DLE cause
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Why Former Army Ranger Tyler Grey is Working With a ‘SEAL Team’
Next up in the fall military TV lineup is SEAL Team on CBS (Wednesdays, 9pm ET). This one stars David Boreanaz, a genuine big television star who’s been on network shows for the last twenty years with Bones, Angel and Buffy the Vampire Slayer. He’s the grizzled team leader this time and he’s joined by Jessica Paré (Megan from Mad Men) returns to TV as Mandy Ellis, the CIA analyst who works with the team on missions.
SEAL Team also aims to show how operators balance their work and home lives. Boreanaz’s character Jason Hayes is estranged from his wife Alana (Michaela McManus) and has to find a way to compartmentalize his life so he can function in the job.
Even though the personal stuff is part of the story, the show’s very concerned with bringing the action. We’ve got a scene from the pilot episode below.
Tyler Grey is an Army veteran who served with 75th Ranger Regiment, 2nd Battalion as a sniper in Iraq and Afghanistan. He was medically discharged in 2005 after he ran into some explosives during a nighttime raid in Afghanistan. He’s spent years working in Hollywood as a military advisor and he’s the guy CBS wants to tell us all about SEAL Team.
Tyler’s on the right
There are half a dozen new military-themed shows out there. For you, what’s special about SEAL Team?
I’ll start by saying that I can’t comment on what those other shows are because I’m not involved with them and I haven’t watched them. I have worked on a ton of military film and TV projects. On every other show or movie project that I’ve ever been involved with, it’s always started with a studio or a big producer. It starts with somebody in Hollywood going, “Hey, I want to make this show about the military,” regardless of unit, service, whatever. And then it kind of trickles down from the top. Usually, the script is written before they even get someone with military experience involved.
I’ve been working on SEAL Team since the pilot. At the very beginning, it started with someone from the military with prior service who wanted to make something about Special Operations. The start was with a veteran and not the other way around. That’s very rare.
SEAL Team also has four full-time advisors. I worked on a 200 million dollar movie that had just three, to give you an example. They’ve really allowed more veteran involvement than I’ve ever seen or heard of. I don’t know 100 percent that’s it’s the most, but I know people who worked on a million things and talked to people about a million projects and I’ve never heard of more veteran involvement on any military project.
At the end of the day it’s a TV show, but the goal to capture the authenticity of what the military, what these continuous deployments are like and what it’s like to be deployed and come back home.
Does it matter what gun the guy is holding or the green Chemlight or blue Chemlight ? Yeah, we want to get all of that stuff right. But what all of us are really focusing on is an effort to portray active duty in a more realistic way or authentic way than we’ve seen before. That’s the intent.
In the pilot, it seems like there’s an attempt to handle the pressure between family life and mission in a way that seemed a little more grounded than how other shows have done it. How involved are you in that part of the show, in getting those relationships right?
We’re involved from the writer’s room to post production. I mean there’s not a single aspect of the show where we don’t have some input. Now, that being said, there is a network involved. There’s a lot of people involved in making this and there’s no one person that gets the final, final, final say. It’s a team sport.
One thing that we’ve really stressed to the writers and they’ve done a great job in listening to us is this: I can tell you a billion real instances of drama that I’ve experienced and they don’t have to be a big melodramatic blowup.
Real drama is kind of small. know that sounds weird to say, but it’s like it’s the small things that eat at you, it’s the small things that eat away at a relationship. It’s the small things that cause divorce over multiple deployments. It’s not one deployment, hey, the person is gone for six months, it’s over because they weren’t there. It’s that over five years. They just slowly and subtly eats away at their relationship.
We wanted to portray the authenticity of these relationships and the writers understand that it’s these small moments. It’s not always that somebody cheated or they’re lying or some big thing. It’s just like it can be as simple as “you haven’t been here.”
Tyler gives some firearms instruction to actor Max Thieriot.Â Photo: Erik Voake/CBS ©2017 CBS Broadcasting, Inc. All Rights Reserved
Tell us about your own military career.
I’ll preface it by saying that I wasn’t a SEAL. I wasn’t even in the Navy. We’re trying to tell universal stories through the conduit of a SEAL Team. Between the four full-time advisors, we have several SEALs and we have several Army Special Operations veterans. Working on the show in other capacities we have a ton of Marines, Marines Special Operations.
My background is Army Special Operations. I spent almost a decade there in two different units and then I was medically retired. I got out and came to Hollywood and started working on different Hollywood projects.
I get a lot of flak from some people. You get out of the military, you go work in Hollywood, you’ve gone Hollywood. The fact that is these shows and these movies are going to be made with our input or without. They’re gonna be made. Stories about the military are gonna be made, movies are gonna be made, it’s gonna happen.
People complain that the military is portrayed wrong all the time. If we want to be portrayed more realistically and in a more authentic way, we have to participate. If you’re just complaining and you’re not actively trying to solve something or you don’t have a solution, then quit complaining.
All we can do is try and be there, try and educate Hollywood, and through Hollywood hopefully educate the public and the whole nation as to a more realistic and authentic portrayal of who we are as a community. That’s my intent.
Bunny ears never, ever get old.
Do you think that Hollywood has made progress since you started doing it? Do people pay more attention now than they did when you came in?
Absolutely, absolutely. And Hollywood is a reactive industry. It is 100 percent reactive. I’ll give you an example.
There’s a reason why so many sequels are made: Hollywood reacts to what the public demands. Hollywood is very much a business. Once they know what’s gonna make money and what works they react to it and go, “Okay, give them more of that.”
When it comes to veteran authenticity or realistic military portrayal, it first takes a demand from the public before Hollywood will react to that. But to get that demand you gotta have someone that took some risks.
Some good examples were Peter Berg with Lone Survivor. Berg wanted SEALs involved and wanted it to feel authentic. He took that risk and the reaction was positive. So then Hollywood went, oh, yeah, more of that. So I saw a massive change with Lone Survivor on the hiring of like technical advisors.
Another example would be American Sniper. Clint Eastwood couldn’t give less of a f**k. He’s gonna do what Clint Eastwood wants to do. He showed the family story in American Sniper. And the public went for it. Prior to Deadpool, American Sniper was the highest-grossing rated R movie of all time.
That movie only got green-lit because Clint Eastwood wanted to make that movie. They all said, you’re an idiot. Clint Eastwood said, no, I’m f**king Clint Eastwood and I’m making the movie.
He made it, Hollywood reacted, and what happened? Hollywood went, holy sh*it, the American public wants more. They want more authentic military stories. They want to see the family perspective. They are very reactive. So post those two movies, those were kind of the — that was kind of a one-two punch of public demand for a more authentic portrayal.
Hollywood went, okay, when it’s told from the veteran perspective, it starts from the veteran perspective, and then you’ve got that veteran involvement and that portrayal is more authentic, the public reacts. So that’s been a major difference.
Left to right: Toni Trucks as Davis, Neil Brown Jr. as Ray, David Boreanaz as Jason Hayes, Jessica ParÃ© as Mandy Ellis, Max Thieriot as Clay Spenser and AJ Buckley as Sonny. Photo: Cliff Lipson/CBS ©2017 CBS Broadcasting, Inc. All Rights Reserved
I was in LA last week and saw all the billboards and all the bus placards promoting the show. The definition of success is so different for you working on a show that’s on CBS versus a show that’s on USA or FX.
Has it ben a different experience than making a movie or from people you know who’ve worked on cable shows? What’s it like to be with the biggest network?
It is night and day different and it’s relentless. People have no concept of the time strain that that we’re under. Right now, I’m heading to set to go film and I just left prep meetings for an episode that we start next week. Like network TV is filmed at an almost unfathomable pace. It’s mind-blowing.
It’s one of those things where everything is a sacrifice, to where it’s like, it’s not possible to get everything right because we just definitely don’t have time to. So everything is a compromise of, all right, I’m sacrificing A or B. Which one is more important, which one can I do more right, which one makes the product feel more authentic and what means more to me as a veteran and me from this community? Where do I put my time and effort and where do we all spread it out because we can’t do everything?
Here’s the other interesting thing: the audience doesn’t know the difference between how something is filmed on HBO or how something is filmed on FX or History Channel versus how it’s filmed on a major network.
Some shows write all of their episodes and then they film them when they’re ready to film them and then they air them when they want to air them.
When our show got green-lit they said, this is your airdate. We hadn’t written a single episode other than the pilot. “This is your airdate and you’re gonna air every single week for this many episodes.”
We’re trying to do the best possible with the opportunity. The good news is that CBS gives us access to a large pool of viewers, being on the biggest network.
The negative is that its comes at the cost of you have a fast and furious timeline. So the key is, how can we deliver the best possible product under that timeline and hopefully get as many eyes as possible on a product that we feel very good about?
Left to right: Max Thieriot as Clay Spenser, AJ Buckley as Sonny, Neil Brown Jr. as Ray and David Boreanaz as Jason Hayes. Photo: Best Screen Grab Available/CBS ©2017 CBS Broadcasting, Inc. All Rights Reserved
Since you’re on a network show, you guys have no idea what’s going happen to any of the characters in February. It’s very different than making a show for HBO.
It’s night and day. Absolutely night and day. This is my first time working on a big network. So I’m learning every single day about the process. CBS has been great. They’ve given us a ridiculous amount of leeway to tell these stories in as authentic way as we can.
At the end of the day, you know people ask me all the time, “Well, how real is it?” It’s not real at all; it’s a TV show. There’s nothing real about it. But I want it to feel authentic. That’s our goal. That’s everyone’s goal. I want veterans, active duty, and veterans and active duty’s families to watch it, and the public that has no connection maybe to veterans in the military, to watch it and just go, “Oh, I understand these people and their families better. “ That’s my goal. I’m not going speak for all the advisors, but that’s my personal goal.
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