Tuesday, May 14, 2013
Scouting for Sawfly larvae
In the past, we have experienced severe outbreaks of this pest. Larvae became so numerous that trees were defoliated. Although outbreaks of this sawfly are rare, we scout the pecan grove every spring to avoid letting this insect become a problem.
Chewing large holes, or entire leaf blades is another, less-common sawfly. The larvae of Megaxyela major (Cresson) is yellow in color with prominent black spots and a black head capsule. Larvae grow to 3/4 inch long before dropping to the ground and pupating. This sawfly has the curious habit of curling around a leaf's rachis or midrib during daylight hours (photo at right). As night falls, the larvae continue to feed on entire leaves often leaving just the midrib. We have never had a serious outbreak of this sawfly species.