Currently viewing the category: "Horntails, Wood Wasps and Sawflies"
What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject:  Hairless and Bumpy, Yellow Caterpillar in Alaska
Geographic location of the bug:  Eagle River/Anchorage AK
Date: 09/15/2017
Time: 04:24 AM EDT
It’s Sept. 16 and fall is in full swing, most days are hanging around 60 degrees. I found this smooth yellow caterpillar while hiking around, and curious what it was! Unfortunately the poor fellow didn’t seem to be alive.
How you want your letter signed:  NuttyMuffins

Sawfly Larva

Dear Nutty Muffins,
Though it resembles a caterpillar, this is actually a Sawfly Larva, probably the Elm Sawfly.  Sawflies are non-stinging relatives of wasps and bees.  We love posting images of Alaskan insects.  The adult Elm Sawfly is quite impressive.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject:  caterpillar cluster
Geographic location of the bug:  raleigh, nc
Date: 09/04/2017
Time: 12:11 PM EDT
what in the world is this? do we leave them, feed them to our chickens, or what?
How you want your letter signed:  carrie

Red Headed Pine Sawfly Larvae

Dear Carrie,
Though the insects in your image resemble Caterpillars, they are actually Sawfly larvae.  Sawflies are non-stinging relatives of Wasps and Bees that have larvae that frequently resemble Caterpillars.  Thankfully your image quality was of a high enough resolution that we were able to crop more closely to help identify these Red Headed Pine Sawfly Larvae
,Neodiprion lecontei. There is an excellent page on Featured Creatures devoted to this species where it states:  “Neodiprion lecontei is an important defoliator of commercially grown pine, as the preferred feeding conditions for sawfly larvae are enhanced in monocultures of shortleaf, loblolly, and slash pine, all of which are commonly cultivated in the southern United States.”  We don’t know if the Red Headed Pine Sawfly larvae are able to retain within their bodies resinous compounds from the pine that might make then unpalatable, but we imagine if they don’t taste good, the chickens won’t want to eat them.

Red Headed Pine Sawfly Larvae

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject:  Are these Monarchs?
Geographic location of the bug:  gilford, nh
Date: 08/30/2017
Time: 02:49 PM EDT
Hi,
Found this hatch a leaf between leaves in a patch of milkweed. They have the coloring of Monarch caterpillars, but I have never seen so many together. Do you know what they are?
How you want your letter signed:  Curious in NH, Wendy O.

Sawfly Larvae

Dear Wendy O.,
These look more like Sawfly Larvae to us.  Sawflies are non-stinging relatives of wasps and bees whose larvae resemble caterpillars.  Here is a BugGuide image of a Sawfly larva in a similar position, and here is a BugGuide image of a similar grouping of Sawfly Larvae.  Finally, here is a BugGuide image of a really similarly colored Sawfly Larva, but alas, it is not identified to the species level.  We are posting your image and perhaps one of our readers will be able to assist with a species identification.  Were they actually on Milkweed?

Hi,
No, the leaves were intermingled with the milkweed plants which had sprouted up in our flower garden.  Thanks for letting me know. They looked so much like mini monarchs that I was confused.  I’m in the garden and outdoors a lot and had never encountered anything like these.  Thanks for responding so quickly.
Best regards,
Wendy O.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Unknown Bug
Location: Pembrokeshire
August 13, 2017 5:18 am
Sirs,
What is the bug shown in the attached photographs? It appeared from timber posts that were delivered this week. Apologies for only getting one photograph but it also had what I assume was a stinging needle approx 10mm long. I live in West Wales and have not seen one of these before.
Many Thanks,
Signature: Byron

Great Wood Wasp

Dear Byron,
We just finished posting an image of a Great Wood Wasp from Ireland.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: What is this bug
Location: Co kerry ireland
August 13, 2017 11:35 am
Can you tell
Me what this isb
Signature: Michelle osullivan

Great Wood Wasp

Dear Michelle,
This is a Great Wood Wasp,
Uroceros gigas, and according to UK Safari:  “Great Wood Wasps are often mistaken for Hornets because they look similar to a wasp but considerably larger.  They’re sometimes called ‘Giant Horntails’ for obvious reasons.  The female Great Wood Wasp has a long pointed tube at the back of her body, and this is usually mistaken for a stinging organ.  In fact it’s an ovipositor, which she uses to lay her eggs in the trunks of coniferous trees.  Despite their slightly fearsome appearance, these insects are quite harmless.”

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Unknown Horntail
Location: Washington
August 8, 2017 12:30 pm
I was moving some logs in my backyard I’m Mukilteo and came across this little guy. I captured it and then continue moving the logs. I found three more but the third one got away. One of the additional ones I got is all black while the other is just a bigger version of the first one. I know they are Horntail, research from this website but which kind?
Signature: Elizabeth

Horntail

Dear Elizabeth,
Your Horntail is
Urocerus albicornis which you can verify by comparing your individual to this image posted to BugGuide.  According to BugGuide:  “hosts include fir, larch, spruce, pine, Douglas-fir, hemlock, and western red cedar.”

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination