lewis's picture

5th july 2012 025

Observed: 5th July 2012 By: lewislewis’s reputation in Invertebrateslewis’s reputation in Invertebrateslewis’s reputation in Invertebrates
5th july 2012 025
5th july 2012 024
Species interactions

No interactions present.


BDeed's picture


I don't suppose you got a view as to how many pro-legs (little stumpy legs near the rear) this caterpillar has? Though i have put an id of Mullein, i am quite unsure of it! This may not even be Lepidoptera!

Having had a look around, they seem a bit variable so i am less worried/more certain..

I think David's Sawfly id is the best bet, particularly with comparison of the head.

David are there any ways other than legs do confidently separate a sawfly larva?

DavidNotton's picture

Sawfly larvae

yes generally speaking (there are exceptions) as well as numerous prolegs, sawfly larvae have a roundish fairly substantial head capsule, a single large black eye spot at the lower angle of the head capsule, the body often has numerous fine wrinkles around it, is tapered towards the tail and the tip of the tail is often curled around or raised in the air. Confusingly many have various combinations of black white yellow green spotting which they share with some Lepidoptera, probably this is common warning colouration (mimicry ring)

lewis's picture


Thanks very much for the idents. I have just found out that the shrub is a Berberis so Berberis sawfly seems a very good fit. The larvae totally defoliate this (large) bush every year. They seem to have two generations, one now and one later in the summer giving time for the Berberis to recover in between.

DavidNotton's picture


The RHS have some information as it is a pest of garden plants - http://apps.rhs.org.uk/advicesearch/profile.aspx?pid=645