The elm sawfly is not considered a problem in forest situations, but can be a defoliator of shade and ornamental elm and willow trees. The elm sawfly is the largest North American sawfly with larvae reaching a length of almost two inches. The larvae pictured here were found feeding on an American elm tree in Bastrop, Texas (near Austin, TX) on May 2, 2002. Larvae are a yellowish-white color and possess a black dorsal stripe. While feeding, the larvae usually coil their posterior around a leaf or twig. At rest the larvae roll into a characteristic tight coil. The larvae spin tough, papery cocoons in the litter or just below the surface of the soil. This mature larva was found on the ground, probably searching for a pupation site.
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