Saturday, March 19, 2011

Musical Sawfly

Last year at work we found these really cool looking caterpillars devouring a patch of  POISON IVY outside our office door.  Yes, they were eating poison ivy, and pretty much defoliating this little patch that had invaded the yew hedge.  What type of butterfly used poison ivy as a host plant, we all wondered? Well, it turned out that what we had found weren't butterfly caterpillars, but the larvae of the poison ivy saw fly.

Sawflies have a recognizable shape- there isn't much apparent separation between the thorax and the abdomen, so when the first insects to fly this year turned out to look like the picture above, I knew exactly what I was dealing with.

I got out my camera and macro lens, hoping to catch a few of these sawflies this afternoon, but I didn't have any luck.  Weston was out playing with me so I decided to grab my guitar and do a little impromtu jam in the out-of-doors.  So much for those sawflies, I'll get them another day.

Weston eventually got into some mischief, I think he climbed to the top of the turtle sandbox and was standing on it with a giant grin when I put my guitar down.  After rescuing the little guy from impending doom, I returned to the guitar, and wham, there was my sawfly, right on my pick guard.

With the camera right there, it didn't take long to snap off a few shots of this little hymenopteran.  Now to my next question to answer- what type of saw fly is it?


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