Aphids have many natural enemies, including ladybugs, lacewings and hover fly larvae. You often find aphids in large masses because they reproduce quickly, allowing their populations build up fast. website content by L. Townsend and J. Larson  website design by P. Dillon   copyright © 2017 - Aphid-infested trees are frequently covered in ladybugs, who help to naturally control this pest. The yellow and black ones were found on a really young birch (two feet… the birch not the caterpillers!) Adults lay eggs in the current season's needles near the ends of branches. Adults have 3-segmented antennae and lay eggs in rows in the edges of leaves. The adult is easily recognised by the pale band on its shiny black abdomen. They can often be found lining the edges of river birch leaves. Hosts. Adult sawflies lay eggs on birch leaves in early spring. Larvae are yellow-green with black blotches on their sides and have a black head; they are about 24 mm (1") long when full grown. Dusky birch sawfly (Croesus latitarsus) Pest description and damage Mature birch sawfly larvae are yellowish with rows of black spots along the abdomen and 0.75 inch long. The head is reddish yellow with black eyespots. Also, as they feed, aphids secrete honeydew, a sticky sweet substance that often attracts ants and wasps. There are two generations per year with larvae feeding from May-July and again in September-October. 04/17/2020, Lance S. Risley, William Paterson University, Bugwood.org, Ronald S. Kelley, Vermont Department of Forests, Parks and Recreation, Bugwood.org, Milan Zubrik, Forest Research Institute - Slovakia, Bugwood.org, Robert F. Bassett, USDA Forest Service, Bugwood.org, Lacy L. Hyche, Auburn University, Bugwood.org, A. Steven Munson, USDA Forest Service, Bugwood.org, Herbert A. There are several generations each season. 'Joe' Pase III, Texas A&M Forest Service, Bugwood.org, Whitney Cranshaw, Colorado State University, Bugwood.org. Adults begin appearing in early September through late fall. Nigel Cattlin / Fox moth (Macrothylacia rubi) female moth with eggs on silver birch (Betula pendula) England, UK. In the wild, river birch almost always occurs along river banks, while in the landscape these tough trees will tolerate both drought and flooding. Varieties. The females have saw-toothed ovipositor, which is used to ‘saw’ into plant material and deposit eggs. Both stages live on the lower surface of leaves. Heavy defoliation by this insect is rare. Larvae begin feeding around mid-May and continue through June. © Gannett Co., Inc. 2020. In addition to the dusky birch sawfly, there are several common sawflies in Iowa that are bothersome to gardeners; the pearslug whose larvae feed on the leaves of a variety of fruit trees, the roseslug on roses, the scarlet oak sawfly that feeds on oak, the willow sawfly, and the European pine sawfly. Symptoms: Dusky birch sawfly have two generations per year and can start out very small, almost too small to see. Dusky birch sawfly larvae can eat quite a lot of leaves on a river birch tree, but this rarely causes longterm damage. Overwinter as prepupae in the soil. Black sooty mold, a harmless fungus, often grows on the honeydew, causing aphid-infested plants to appear dirty or sooty. Until the eggs have hatched, some species such as the small brown sawfly will remain with them and protects the eggs by buzzing loudly and beating her wings to deter predators. The specific type of aphid that feeds on river birch foliage is known as the spiny witch-hazel gall aphid. Each spring, river birch trees are visited by two common pests � aphids and a caterpillar look-alike known as the sawfly larva. After feeding, larvae transform into pupae in the soil or on trees. They also tend to prefer younger leaflets. Description. Dusky winged sawfly of birch All sawfly larvae have more than 5 pairs of abdominal appendages called “Prolegs” Many sawfly species feed in mass groups. The second, overlapping generation feeds though September. Hatching and larvae merge On the underside of affected leaves you will see the aphids tucked into the ridges. The head is reddish yellow with black eyespots. Thank you. Some aphid species feed only on a few specific plants while others are not as picky. Control of this pest is rarely necessary, except on … Aphid feeding does not usually cause serious damage to plants, though it sometimes causes the leaves or stems to become distorted. Cimbex femoratus var. Next spring, adult sawflies will emerge from these cocoons to lay new eggs on river birch leaves and the life cycle will start all over again.Dusky birch sawfly larvae can eat quite a lot of leaves on a river birch tree, but this rarely causes longterm damage. An Equal Opportunity University | By Charlotte GlenPender County Cooperative Extension, Your California Privacy Rights / Privacy Policy. They feed in groups at the edges of leaves. If your river birch trees lose a large percentage of their foliage to aphids and sawfly feeding, applying a slow-release fertilizer and watering during dry weather will help them recover more quickly. Larvae feed on birch, alder and willow. Stay up to date with all the latest plant and pest news by logging on to the Pender Gardener blog at http://pendergardener.blogspot.com/. Last modified These 1 inch long, yellow-green bodied, black headed larvae, feed in groups along the leaf margins, eating their way to the center vein. Both of these pests feed only on river birch leaves in the spring and trees quickly recover once the insects have moved on. Larvae feed on birch, alder and willow. When disturbed, they will lift their back ends into the air so their bodies are shaped like question marks. Aphids are small, soft-bodied insects sometimes referred to as plant lice. All rights reserved. S-225 Agricultural Science Center North, Lexington, KY 40546-0091 | 859.257.7450 Dusky birch sawfly (Croesus latitarsus) Pest description and damage Mature birch sawfly larvae are yellowish with rows of black spots along the abdomen and 0.75 inch long. While both of these pests cause river birch trees to lose some leaves, they do not pose any serious threat to the trees� long term health and will not spread to other plants in the landscape. In early summer it moves on to witch hazel foliage, but will not infest any other type of plant. document.write(year) Dusky birch sawfly, Croesus latitarsus. If the larvae are approached, they will assume a characteristic “S” shaped defensive posture. Damage. Dusky birch sawfly’s primary host is River birch, but sometimes grey, black, red paper and yellow birch are also attacked. Species; Additional images; Click here to support NatureSpot by making a donation - small or large - your gift is very much appreciated. River birch is a medium sized native tree commonly grown in landscapes for its attractive bark and fast growth. These caterpillar-like critters have green bodies with black dots down their sides, and a black head. The first generation larvae feed from May to early July. University of Kentucky Department of Entomology Original content available for non-commercial use under a Creative Commons license, except where noted. Caterpillers?? In the spring, this aphid feeds on river birch leaves. Sawflies are a type of insect related to bees and wasps that look like small wasps, though they do not sting. There are many different types of aphid and while most are green, you can also find species that are yellow, orange, brown, red or black. 01655519 Nigel Cattlin / Dusky birch sawfly (Craesus latitarsus) larvae on the leaves on a young silver birch tree (Betula pendula), Berkshire, September Aphids feed on plants with mouthparts like a hypodermic needle or straw.

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