Pear or Cherry Slug
TENTHREDINIDAE , SYMPHYTA , HYMENOPTERA
(Photo: courtesy of Merlin Crossley, Melbourne, Victoria)
These are not true Caterpillars or slugs, but are the larvae of a Sawfly (which is a Wasp, or more accurately a Symphytan). They are black with a white line, and with a yellow head and tail. They appear to have no legs, and slither about on their food plant, which can be many species from the plant family ROSACEAE :
They grow to a length of about 1 cm. They pupate in a cell in the soil.
The adult is a little black insect, with a wingspan of about 1 cm.
The female slits the leaf of a host plant between the upper and lower surfaces and lays the eggs inside the leaf.
The species is found worldwide, for example :
as well as in Australia in
Control has been attempted using :
Further reading :
Edition 10, Volume 1 (1760), Class 5, Part 3, p. 557, No. 14.
(updated 3 January 2010, 15 May 2013, 10 March 2014)