Saturday, 31 August 2013

Die, sawfly, die!

So there I was, in the garden taking photos. An interesting orangy-brown insect sitting on the herb fennel caught my eye.

It flitted from one floret to another and I managed to capture a side view of it, reminiscent of Alien.

'Alien' it isn't but what it's offspring do to brassicas is devastating. I later identified from the photos that it is the turnip sawfly (Athalia rosae). Sawflies are very, very bad news. There are numerous species  - gooseberry sawfly, rose sawfly, apple sawfly, turnip sawfly - and their larvae can strip the leaves from a whole plant or bush in one overnight feeding frenzy.

This is what a single larva did to one of my broccoli seedlings.

 I squished the larva but too late to save that seedling :-(.

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