Freaky Flyday Part 3 CORRECTION: Pergid Sawfly

Subject: A day of Freaky Flies
Location: Yarra Valley, Victoria, Australia
December 15, 2012 3:27 am
Hello Bugman, you’ve helped me before with a Bristle fly a couple of years ago. Today I’ve seen 3 strange flies on my cherry tree, which is currently being attacked by the cherry tree slug. I suspect they could be feeding on it, but I’m not sure.
It’s Summer here in Australia and today was a dull humid day.
Signature: Linda, Yarra Valley

Pergid Sawfly

Hi Daniel (again) this is the fly someone else thought might be a soldier fly although it looks very much like a wasp.  I was hoping with more photos you might have a better chance to identify it.
Linda from Healesville

Pergid Sawfly

Hi Linda,
Thanks for the additional images, but our opinion hasn’t changed.  We still believe this is a Chalcidid Wasp, a member of a family of Parasitic Hymenopterans, or some other Parasitic Wasp.  It will not harm your tree.  They parasitize other insects and according to BugGuide:  “hosts: mostly Lepidoptera and Diptera, though a few attack Hymenoptera, Coleoptera or Neuroptera(1). Parasites of Lepidoptera usually attack young pupae, while those of Diptera attack mature larvae.”  The Brisbane Insect website only has a few species pictured and none look exactly like your individual.

Correction:  Soldier Fly, not Chalcicid
Subject: Freaky Flyday Part 3
December 17, 2012 8:24 pm
This is NOT a hymenopteran esp Chacididae.  It is a Stratiomyidae.  look at wings and abdominal attachment and segments – beautiful mimic!!
Signature: Steve Schoenig

Thanks for the correction Steve.  We always appreciate input from experts.  We will write back to Linda to let her know she was right all along. 

Wow! thankyou for investigating it.  You’re still the expert in my eyes.
Linda from Healesville

April 7, 2014:  Alternate Identification:
We just received a comment from Mark Ridgway who believes this is a member of the family Pergidae, one of the Sawflies.  We may try contacting Eric Eaton on this posting.

Eric Eaton agrees with Sawfly
Had to do a little research on this one.  It is indeed a sawfly, family Pergidae.  Which genus, let alone species, I cannot easily assess.
Here’s a link to a website all about the family Pergidae:
Some females guard their young larvae, apparently.

2 thoughts on “Freaky Flyday Part 3 CORRECTION: Pergid Sawfly”

Leave a Comment