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Species Diprion similis - Introduced Pine Sawfly

Introduced Pine Sawfly - Diprion similis - female Pine Sawfly - Diprion similis - female Introduced Pine Sawfly - Diprion similis unknown late season caterpillars - Diprion similis Nice Antlers - Diprion similis - male Just emerged? - Diprion similis Fly or sawfly? - Diprion similis sawfly cocoon - Diprion similis
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)
Genus Diprion
Species similis (Introduced Pine Sawfly)
Synonyms and other taxonomic changes
=Diprion simile (misspelling)
Explanation of Names
Diprion similis (Hartig 1834)
Range
adventive from Europe; ne. US (ME-MN to NC-TN) (map) + WA; in Canada, NF-MB & BC
Habitat
Pine forests
Season
Adults can be found throughout the season, from first emergence in mid-spring to pupation in mid-fall (in favorable weather they may stay active even longer). Late-emergers and two generations mean all stages of development can be found together at the same time.
Food
hosts: pines (Pinus); 5-needled pines (Subg. Strobus) are preferred, but others may be infested as well
Life Cycle
Male | Female

Adults emerge as early as April, depending on the climate, and mate (Females that fail to mate can still lay eggs, which hatch to produce males). The females make slits in needles with their ovipositors to lay their eggs- about 10 per needle. When they first emerge, the larvae feed in groups, but spread out as they get older.
Larva:
There are often two generations, with the first spinning cocoons in early July, emerging in early August, and laying eggs which hatch into the second generation. The second generation generally spins cocoons in September in the litter under the trees.
Most go into diapause in a pre-pupal state until spring, then pupate. Some may not emerge with the others, remaining in diapause until later in the season, or even for 1-3 years.
Empty cocoon:

With exit hole of a chalcid wasp:
Remarks
first reported in our area: CT 1914
Although a serious pest at times, it normally stunts rather than kills its hosts. It can be a more serious problem with young trees and in cases such as Christmas trees where appearance is important. It has natural enemies and diseases, so large outbreaks are only intermittently seen.