Subject: Bright Orange Caterpillar
Geographic location of the bug: Goshen, New Hampshire
Time: 09:00 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman: Hello! I’ve been trying to figure out what this little guy might be, but I haven’t found anything. It’s bright orange with a single black stripe down the back. The head is white and has many small white dots down the body. I know you don’t respond to all submissions, so thank you if you read mine.
How you want your letter signed: Haley
While this might look like a Caterpillar, it is actually an Elm Sawfly larva. According to the University of Wisconsin Madison Master Gardener Program site, the “Elm Sawfly, Cimbex americana, is a native species which feeds preferentially on elm and willow, but sometimes attacks maple, cottonwood, poplar, birch and other trees. This is one of the largest species of sawfly in North America with full-grown larvae ranging from 1½-2 inches long. The white, light gray, yellow or light green (and occasionally pink) larvae with a rough, pebbly texture have a black stripe running down the top of the body with a row of black dots (spiracles) on each side. They often curl up into a circle when not feeding on the leaves.”