Identification, Images, & Information
For Insects, Spiders & Their Kin
For the United States & Canada
Clickable Guide
Moths Butterflies Flies Caterpillars Flies Dragonflies Flies Mantids Cockroaches Bees and Wasps Walkingsticks Earwigs Ants Termites Hoppers and Kin Hoppers and Kin Beetles True Bugs Fleas Grasshoppers and Kin Ticks Spiders Scorpions Centipedes Millipedes

Fall Fund Drive

TaxonomyBrowseInfoImagesLinksBooksData
Photo#1297521
Larva ID - Gilpinia hercyniae

Larva ID - Gilpinia hercyniae
Chimney Tops Capstone , Sevier County, Tennessee, USA
August 24, 2016
35° 37.725'N 83° 28.682'W
~4,700 feet above sea level
Found at base of the peak of the chimney tops.

What's That Bug? says :
Dear Cicada Lover,
We agree with you that this appears like it might be a European Spruce Sawfly larva as pictured on BugGuide. Have you any other images? It would be great if you had an image where we are able to count the prolegs. According to Natural Resources Canada: “Native to Europe, the European spruce sawfly was first reported in Canada in 1922 and in the United States in 1929, but did not really attract the attention of foresters until 1930, when it caused severe damage to spruce stands in Quebec’s Gaspé peninsula. The infestation spread rapidly throughout northeastern North America. The discovery of this infestation led to the development of a national forest insect inventory network consisting of the states in the northeastern U.S. Sawfly populations began to decline in 1938 with the emergence of a viral disease that affects the larvae, returning to endemic levels in 1945, where it has since remained throughout Canada. Its current Canadian range extends from the Atlantic provinces to Manitoba.” Tennessee is further south than any reported BugGuide sightings. Please let us know if you learn anything new from the BugGuide posting.

Images of this individual: tag all
Larva ID - Gilpinia hercyniae Larva ID - Gilpinia hercyniae Larva ID - Gilpinia hercyniae Larva ID - Gilpinia hercyniae

Moved
Moved from ID Request.

Spruce?
Was there any spruce where you found this larva? If so, there seems to be little reason to doubt the suggested ID.

 
I have added a photo
Of where the larva was found. I am not sure if those are spruce trees or not

 
Yes
That big one does appear to be a spruce. I didn't realize there was native spruce as far south as Tennessee, but I just checked and red spruce (Picea rubens) is recorded from Sevier County as well as two others right along the NC border.

 
Thanks for the confirmation
Also, I found a website saying "The Spruce-fir Forest caps the park's highest elevations. Growing above 4,500 feet in elevation, Fraser fir and red spruce are the dominant trees in this boreal forest. The climate of the spruce-fir forest is similar to climates in areas such as Maine, and Quebec, Canada. The main components of the spruce-fir forest are red spruce and Fraser fir."
This explains why I found it at such a high elevation, where the conditions are much like what they are further north. I have yet to find a record of this sawfly larva in TN, so next I am going to try and find a good contact for the national park so they can put this in their records. After that, I guess I am going to do an exhaustive search to see what I can find a record of it in TN.

 
Confirmation
I asked Dave Smith (the North American sawfly expert) to take a look at this, and he says:

"The most southern record I have for G. hercyniae is WV (Pendleton, Pocohantas, and Wirt counties). Not too surprising that it may have reached TN. I do have specimens of Pikonema, also on spruce, from GSMNP, but the picture in BugGuide is most certainly G. hercyniae and not Pikonema."

I have contacted WTB?
I will add their response in the description.
Also, I am adding three more photos that may be able to help with the proleg problem.

 
*
I would like to edit my other photos with an app called "paint" so I can add arrows pointing to the prolegs (so they would be easier to see). however, I am currently getting a error when I try to do so.

 
Are you getting an error when you try to add arrows?
or when you try to upload the new image? We should point out that BugGuide is not a fan of markups for the most part, but you may be able to slip through one image with arrows. If the problem is uploading the new image, check to see that it is a jpg of less than 2Mb. If the problem is with the Paint program, we're afraid we can't help as we don't know that program, sorry.

 
*
It has nothing to do with bugguide. It's just an error I get on my computer after trying to overwrite the image.

Moved
Moved from Butterflies and Moths. Temporarily moving back. Think this might actually be a sawfly??

 
I do think that.
I have yet to find a good contact though for someone in the Great Smoky Mountains (or TN in general). I would like to contact someone there, but I am unsure of who to contact. I think i am going to post this picture on "What's That Bug?", tell them the whole situation and see what they think. They have been pretty helpful in the past.

If that is indeeed what it is, it might be important
to notify someone in the park of your find. We don't find anything that lists it as being in Tennessee, though we didn't do an exhaustive search. We can hope that we're wrong, but someone in that area should be able to ID your image for you.

Wonder if this might actually be

 
Your suggestion
looks promising.
the head of the one you posted in the comments looks a little bit different than that of mine, but I think that's just because of the angle.
on this page, if you scroll to the very bottom, the heads look alike.
http://www.discoverlife.org/20/q?search=Gilpinia+hercyniae

 
I just also wonder
about the range

Moved
Moved from ID Request.

Do you have a lateral image showing the prolegs?
Would be a great help to know how many pair this has.

 
Unfortunately
I do not

Comment viewing options
Select your preferred way to display the comments and click 'Save settings' to activate your changes.