Spitfires from Australia

Subject: Disgusting looking critters…please help identify
Location: Melbourne, Laverton VIC footpath into Laverton P12 College
September 2, 2016 3:06 am
Was walking along Bladin Rd Melbourne VIC and saw this ‘clump’ just on footpath leading into Laverton College. A staff who has been there for last 27years said they are caterpillars but i am still curious if they really are caterpollars. Apparently they seemed to have come from the eucalypt tree near footpath.
Signature: Curious


Dear Curious,
These are Spitfires, a name used in Australia for the larvae of Sawflies, non-stinging relatives of bees and wasps whose larvae are often confused with caterpillars.  Based on the image used on the Australian Museum site, they may be Steel Blue Sawflies in the genus
Perga, and the site states:  “Steel-blue Sawfly larvae in the Sydney area feed on eucalypts.”

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