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European apple sawfly

Hoplocampa testudinea (Klug)
Hymenoptera: Tenthredinidae

The adult looks similar to a small, orange-brown wasp with the ventral side and legs orange in color (A). It has transparent wings with many veins. The egg, oval and translucent, is inserted into the receptacle of the flower. The larva is cream-colored with a black head (B) and seven pairs of prolegs, the last four of which are called "pseudopods".


Southeastern Canada to New England, NY, and south to VA.


Attacks apple mainly. Early larval feeding leaves brown spiral scars on the skin of the fruit (C). Later, more serious damage consists of larval tunneling and exit holes (D), from which flows wet, reddish brown frass with a strong odor. Larvae will enter more than one fruit, frequently leaving frass-covered entry holes; loss of whole clusters can occur.

Similar Species

The larvae of the codling moth (Cydia pomonella) and lesser appleworm (Grapholita prunivora) are pinkish in color; they can be distinguished by the number (five) of prolegs; also, both occur as larger larvae in the fruit later (5+ weeks after petal fall) than does apple sawfly (2–3 weeks after petal fall).


Monitoring of the adults with sticky board traps; application of broad-spectrum insecticides just before or just after the bloom period (can be used simultaneously against the codling moth and the plum curculio).

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