Adult pine sawfly (Diprion pini) are 10mm long brown winged insects, The larvae reach up to 25mm long and are pale green in colour with a brown head and black markings. Protect pine trees from the voracious European pine sawfly with some environmentally friendly controls. In late May and early June mature larvae usually drop to the ground to prepare to undergo the transformation to the pupal stage. Susceptible species include Mugo, Scotch, Jack and Red Pine and to a lesser extent, White and Austrian Pine. Create an Account - Increase your productivity, customize your experience, and engage in information you care about. They have three pairs of thoracic legs and seven pairs of fleshy abdominal prolegs on the lower side of the abdomen. Older larvae continue to eat the needles from tip to base. Handle carefully and store in original labeled containers out of the reach of children, pets, and livestock. Native to Europe, this pest was accidentally introduced to North America in 1925. Water your pines regularly throughout the summer to just before the 1st frost, and watch for other diseases or insects in relation to your trees. In late August mature larvae begin to pupate inside tough, golden brown cocoons in the leaf litter. If larvae defoliate the tree of last year's needles before reaching maturity, they will crawl to another host tree to continue feeding. 1. Horticultural soaps or an insecticide that targets sawflies can also be used. It prefers mugo pine, P. mugo; Scots pine, Pinus sylvestris; red pine, P. resinosa; jack pine, P. banksiana; Japanese red pine, P. densiflora; and table mountain pine, P. pungens. Figure 1. Take a closer look; it may in fact be under attack by the larvae of the European Pine Sawfly. In the fall, the female sawfly, after mating, will deposit eggs in the current year’s needles (at branch tips). Since larvae rarely attack new foliage and most trees are seldom entirely defoliated, pines usually survive an infestation. When there appears to be a massive infestation, treatment is most effective when larvae are young (mid to late May). In the cocoon, the larvae pupate into adult sawflies and emerge in September. If detected, you can prune out infested branches or you can try knocking the larvae off by shaking the branches by hand, with a broom, or using a garden hose to spray them off with water. The larvae develop orange heads in late instars. They also tend to prefer younger leaflets. As the larvae mature, the soap method is less effective. However, since the larvae do not feed on new growth, often times, with proper treatment, trees can survive. Take a closer look; it may in fact be under attack by the larvae of the European Pine Sawfly. Fox-coloured sawfly (Neodiprion sertifer) is 7-9mm long and pale orange-brown. A light green stripe runs directly down the middle of the back of a mature larva. Larvae of the European pine sawfly are often seen in pairs on individual needles. Young larvae eat the surface of the needle causing needles to appear dry and straw-like. Sawfly and moth larvae form one third of the diet of nestling corn buntings (Emberiza calandra), with sawfly larvae being eaten more frequently on cool days. One of nature’s unique creatures is the European pine sawfly. As with all species, the European pine sawfly population fluctuates in cyclically. Most likely your pines are under attack of the European Pine Sawfly! The mature larva has a black head and gray-green body with several light and dark green stripes that break up into spots. The larvae tend to feed from the time they emerge from the egg until about the end of June or early July, after which, most will drop to the ground and spin a cocoon in the duff layer. European pine sawfly larvae have already been reported in several parts of Iowa, and NOW will be your last chance to discover any defoliation in time to treat effectively. These can be found at your local hardware or garden store. Diprion pini, often referred to as the Common Sawfly or Conifer Sawfly, is a pest of pine trees throughout much of Europe. Mature larvae are grayish green, 18-25 mm long, and caterpillarlike in appearance. This aesthetic damage is most apparent on mugo pine in landscapes and nurseries and Scots pine grown in Christmas tree plantations. The European pine sawfly is common in Pennsylvania. In late April and early May begin looking for tufts of dry, straw-like needles on the previous year's growth. If using a hose, the spraying should be done a couple of times a week during the feeding season. The larvae primarily feed in groups; they are folivores, eating plants and fruits on native trees and shrubs, though some are parasitic. This is a symptom that indicates feeding by young larvae and may be the best time to effectively manage this pest. They also tend to prefer younger leaflets. This worm-like insect has a black head and gray body with darker stripes. Since adults can fly, populations on unmanaged host trees may a source of future infestations. After mating, the female sawfly will than deposit eggs in the current year’s needles and the cycle begins again. Its range extends from Ontario, Canada, in the north, to Missouri in the south, and from the New England states in the east, to Iowa in the west. Look closer, are there bunches of some sort of worm on the old needles? European Pine Sawfly. Typically, one female will lay 6-8 eggs in a single needle in each of approximately 10-12 needles. The larval stage of this pest causes damage to several different species of pine. Young caterpillar-looking larvae are 1/4 inch in length and olive-green in color with a black head (Figures 1). Avoid further stress of severely harmed trees. On each side of the body are two adjacent stripes; the one nearest to the legs is dark green or black and the stripe located right above it is grayish green. Spraying may have to be done a couple of times a week during the feeding season. Black grouse (Tetrao tetrix) chicks show a strong preference for sawfly larvae.
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