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Family Diprionidae - Conifer Sawflies

Neodiprion pinetum Nifty hymenoptera  - Diprion similis - male ? owlet caterpillar - Diprion similis Pine Sawfly - Diprion similis Diprion similis - Introduced Pine Sawfly - Diprion similis sawflies on bittersweet - Diprion similis sawfly Diprion similis - female
Classification
Kingdom Animalia (Animals)
Phylum Arthropoda (Arthropods)
Subphylum Hexapoda (Hexapods)
Class Insecta (Insects)
Order Hymenoptera (Ants, Bees, Wasps and Sawflies)
No Taxon ("Symphyta" - Sawflies, Horntails, and Wood Wasps)
Family Diprionidae (Conifer Sawflies)
Numbers
2 subfamilies, with >40 spp. in 6 genera of in our area (incl. 35 spp. of Neodiprion)(1), 140 spp. in 13 genera worldwide(2)
Size
6-12 mm(1)
Identification
Mesonotum not divided by a transverse groove between bases of fore wings. Protibia with 2 apical spurs, the smaller spur at least half as long as larger spur. Fore wing without longitudinal vein Sc; at most a short vein Sc1 dividing costal cell. Metatibia with 1 preapical spur or none. Pronotum in dorsal view with posterior margin strongly concave. Tergum 1 not extending to metacoxa and not fused with metapleuron. Mesoscutellar appendage clearly outlined at least laterally. Protibia with dorsal spur usually with lateral lobe (although may be very small). Anterior margin of lateral ocellus level with middle of median ocellus. Mesepimeron with upper portion not excavated along centre. Antennae with 13 or more segments. The antennae are serrated in the female and pectinate or bipectinate in males.
Range
most of NA(1); relatively rare in the Midwest but common elsewhere
Habitat
coniferous forests(1)
Food
Larvae feed on conifers and can do considerable damage
Print References
Smith, D.R. 1974. Conifer sawflies, Diprionidae: key to North American genera, checklist of world species, and new species from Mexico (Hymenoptera). Proceedings of the Entomological Society of Washington 76:409-418. (Biodiversity Heritage Library)