Sawfly Larvae near Milkweed

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.

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BugMan aka Daniel Marlos has been identifying bugs since 1999. WhatsThatbug.com is his passion project and it has helped millions of readers identify the bug that has been bugging them for over two decades. You can reach out to him through our Contact Page.

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