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Pristiphora erichsonii larva on Larix laricina (click on image to enlarge it)
Author(s): Steven Katovich, USDA Forest Service
Source: IPM Images

Tenthredinidae - (typical sawflies)

This is a large family of leaf-feeding wasps with almost 10,000 species. A number are important plant pests like the apple sawfly, Hoplocampa testudinea, or the coleseed sawfly, Athalia rosae. Several species are gregarious and mass occurrence can lead to considerable damage. Some feed on the leaves, others are leafminers and several species bore into fruits or wood.

The adults are up to 20 mm long, typically brown or black. The females have a saw-like ovipositor. The serration is strong in species which lay their eggs into twigs and fine in those which deposit on leaves. The larvae resemble Lepidoptera caterpillars with 7 or 8 pairs of pseudopods in addition to the 3 pairs of thoracic legs. They curl into a characteristic S-shape when disturbed.

The following genera are currently entered under this family: