GeorgeWS's picture

Pear and cherry slug sawfly larvae

Observed: 21st September 2009 By: GeorgeWSGeorgeWS’s reputation in InvertebratesGeorgeWS’s reputation in Invertebrates
100 1174 1
100 1151 1
100 1140 1
100 1147 1
100 1109 1
100 1152 1
100 1145 1

Slimy, gelatinous, slug-like appearance. Closer inspection reveals a distinct head, sets of legs and the more posterior pseudo-legs (similar to caterpillars and other larvae). These specimens were found on the top surface of cherry tree leaves but others have been seen on pear tree leaves.

Species interactions

No interactions present.


Topsi's picture

sawfly larva

This might be C. cerasi. I'm not an expert on sawflies and there may be related species that look similar.
Sawflies are actually wasps in the family Symphyta, and are different from other wasps in not having the 'thin waist' that we see in ordinary wasps and also their larvae look like lepidopteran (butterfly and moth) caterpillars.
If you look carefully at the larvae they have six or more pairs of legs on the abdomen whereas 'real' caterpillars have 5 pairs or fewer.
Sawfly larvae are herbivorous but the adults may either be carnivorous or feed on nectar.


Martin Harvey's picture

Sawfly caterpillar and moth leaf-mine

I agree that the black caterpillar shown above is Caliroa cerasi. This is included in the guide to identifiable sawfly larvae available from Wiltshire and Swindon Biological Records Centre:

In that guide it says "There are several similar species in Britain, all up to 11mm long and covered in slime, but this is the only black one."

The third and fourth photos also show the long, linear mine of the leaf-mining moth Lyonetia clerkella.

Entomologist and biological recorder