green three legged arched caterpillar
July 29, 2009
These things are eating my roses and they seem to want to travel in three’s!!
West Sussex, UK
Though they look like caterpillars, these are actually Sawfly Larvae. Sawfies are non-stinging relatives of wasps. The posture of your Sawfly Larvae is very consistent with the Argid Sawflies like the Birch Sawfly, Arge pectoralis, pictured on BugGuide. We found one photo of the larva of a Rose Sawfly, Arge rosae that was photographed in Spain, but the coloration is different from your specimens, most notably a yellow head versus the black head on your individuals. We found photos of three additional Sawflies that feed on roses on the University of Minnesota extension website (Roseslug, Endelomyia aethiops, Bristly roseslug, Cladius difformis and curled rose sawfly, Allantus cinctus) but none of them exactly match your specimens either. Hopefully you will be content with the general identification of Argid Sawfly.