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Dogwood Sawfly (Macremphytus tarsatus)

Order: Hymenoptera (hy-men-OP-ter-a) (Info)
Family: Tenthredinidae
Genus: Macremphytus
Species: tarsatus


This bug has been reportedly found in the following regions:

Garfield, Arkansas
Champaign, Illinois
Saint Joseph, Illinois
Hollis Center, Maine
Uxbridge, Massachusetts
Denville, New Jersey
Oyster Bay, New York
Pottstown, Pennsylvania
Wilkes Barre, Pennsylvania
Elkton, Virginia
Show all

Members' Notes:


On Mar 10, 2013, whaisname from Oyster Bay, NY wrote:

Found, also, on my Pagoda dogwood.


On Sep 15, 2009, kizilod from Uxbridge, MA wrote:

I read that they don't do any lasting harm to the plant, but can bury into wooden siding, which may ultimately lead to woodpecker damage on your house.


On Sep 1, 2009, helco from Champaign, IL wrote:

I see them on yellow twig dogwoods as well. I'm told that they don't harm the plant, that they do only cosmetic damage, but they do plenty of that. They can be killed with a soapy spray (just plain dishwash liquid), but it's hard to get them all. They're generally to be found on the undersides of the leaves.


On Aug 27, 2007, claypa from West Pottsgrove, PA (Zone 6b) wrote:

A major insect pest to the various Dogwood trees and shrubs (Cornus). The adults look like wasps, and lay eggs on leaves in early summer. The larvae eat the leaves in late summer and go through several molts with radically different appearances. They spend the winter in decaying wood and emerge as adults in the spring.

I see them on C. sericea (Red Osier Dogwood); haven't noticed them on the trees but they're probably there too. Sawfly larvae always occur in numbers, never singly, but they're easy to remove if you find them. They just curl up and play dead. The later instars make a cottony substance on their skin.