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Pine Sawflies

Ronald F. Billings, Texas Forest Service, Bugwood.org
shown: redheaded pine sawfly. Neodiprion lecontei (Fitch) - Larva(e)     Sawflies are members of the same insect order (Hymenoptera) that includes ants, bees, and wasps. The larval stage has a caterpillar-like body that may be brightly marked with stripes or spots. Some species change significantly in appearance as they grow, making identification confusing. Large numbers of sawflies can strip the needles from a tree in a short period. 
 
The redheaded pine sawfly can be very destructive, attacking trees 1 foot to 12 feet tall. Infestations may be worse on trees already under stress due to a poor site or if under severe competition from other trees. This species attacks jack, short leaf loblolly, slash, red, Scots, and other 2- and 3-needled pines.

There are two generations each year, larvae can be found feeding in late June and in late August to early September. They feed gregariously on new and old needles, as well as the tender bark of young twigs. They generally feed downward from the top. Mature larvae drop to the soil and pupate; they pass the winter in this stage.
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