Dogwood Sawfly Larvae


The saddleback caterpillars were not the only new insect for me last weekend at Brookside Gardens. I noticed a lot of white ‘caterpillars’ on a yellow twig dogwood near the gift shop end of the conservatory….they were dogwood sawfly larvae!

When I went back with my husband on Monday, there was a person spraying the plants just as we got to the gardens. I’d heard that other plants in the garden were infected and it didn’t take me long to find some that had not been sprayed. I got close enough pictures to realize that the larvae have a similar color and texture to lemon bars: white (like a dusting powdered sugar) on top and glistening yellow underneath.

They were so plentiful on the dogwoods that some fell off into the grass below

Or started climbing up into the bald cypress that was overhead.

Probably by the time I go to Brookside this weekend they will mostly be gone – either because of spraying or the plants will be devoured and the larvae in the pupa stage.