Subject: Caterpillars on a red-twig dogwood
Location: Chester County, PA
August 12, 2014 10:17 am
While working with a client in their garden yesterday, I noted these caterpillars on a Cornus sericea (red twig dogwood) shrub. I have not seen these before, and would like to know what they are. Fortunately, the clients were just as curious, and willing to “live and let live”, especially as there was very little foliage damage. This is in southeastern Pennsylvania, photo taken August 11, 2014.
Signature: The Gardening Coach
Dear Gardening Coach,
Though they are easily mistaken for caterpillars, these are actually the larvae of Dogwood Sawflies, Macremphytus tarsatus, and they are members of the order Hymenoptera that includes wasps, bees and ants. According to BugGuide: ” Young larvae are covered with a powdery white waxy coating. Mature larvae are yellow beneath with black spots or cross-stripes above.”