In 2015, the pine sawfly populations have made a big impact on some local homeowners in Douglas County and Elbert County, Colorado. Reaching epidemic levels relative to past years, the pine sawfly is a pest worth looking for if you have any ponderosa pine trees on your property. Let’s look at how you can determine if you have an infestation requiring professional treatment.
The pine sawfly adult changes quite a lot from its larval stage. The males and females look different from each other and the US Department of Agriculture defines pine sawflies in this way. “Adult pine sawflies are thick-waisted wasps about ½ inch (10-12 mm) long. Females are yellowish brown, and the smaller males are mostly black, bearing feathery antennae.” The photo at the top is an adult female laying an egg. (Photo: Michael R. Wagner, Northern Arizona University)
Let’s take a close look at the pine sawfly in its larval stage. In the larval stage, the sawfly is said to look similar to a caterpillar. Here is an image of hundreds or thousands of sawfly larvae for you to see for yourself. Caterpillars are the larvae of moths and butterflies, but pine sawfly larva looks a bit different as it has 6 or more pairs of prolegs that are often very small (caterpillars have 5 or less).
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What do ponderosa pine trees look like? Ponderosa pine trees are the trees notoriously known as Christmas trees. These images are of healthy ponderosa pine trees, their healthy needle-shaped leaves, and pinecones. The ponderosa pine is a large coniferous evergreen, which means it keeps its green needle-shaped leaves throughout the year. To the right is a ponderosa pine tree, its needs, and pine cones from Wikipedia, which also offers a lot of good information if you wish to learn more about these trees.