European pine sawfly

Neodiprion sertifer


Scotch, mugo, red, Japanese red, jack and Swiss mountain pines and occasionally others.

pine sawfly
Sawflies have 6 or more pairs of prolegs, fleshy outpouchings of abdominal tissue that resemble legs. Caterpillars have 5 or fewer pairs of prolegs.

Eggs of the European pine sawfly are laid in slits on current year’s needles in late summer and fall. Larvae emerge the following spring to feed on two-year old needles. Look for young larvae as Amelanchier is blooming or redbud begins bloom in late April to mid-May.

Pin sawfly eggs
Pine needle, where European pine sawfly eggs were laid the previous summer. The egg on the right is about to hatch.

pine sawfly late feeding damage
Late feeding damage.


Larvae feed in groups; both larvae and their damage can be pruned out. Insecticides should be targeted to younger larvae. Remember, B.t. is not effective on sawfly larvae even though they resemble caterpillars.

pine sawfly larvae
Sawfly larvae, which resemble caterpillars, feed in a group, eating all the second-year needles before moving on to new branches.

pine sawfly feeding damage
Early feeding damage on mugo pine.

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The MSU IPM Program maintains this site as an access point to pest management information at MSU. The IPM Program is administered within the Department of Entomology, fueled by research from the AgBioResearch, delivered to citizens through MSU Extension, and proud to be a part of Project GREEEN.