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Photo#763023
Azalea Sawfly? - Nematus lipovskyi

Azalea Sawfly? - Nematus lipovskyi
Beavercreek, Greene County, Ohio, USA
April 23, 2013
These may not all be the same individual insect, as there were several on two neighboring Azaleas (Rhododendron 'Mandarin Lights' and R. 'White Lights'; these are hybrids with ancestry from R. japonicum, R. molle and R. prinophyllum). These Azaleas get infested with sawfly larvae devouring the leaves (all but mid-rib) every spring soon after full flower; this is the first time I have noticed what may be the adults. They appeared to be ovipositing in the expanding buds, often walking down and then up stems to the next bud, and sometimes flying.

Images of this individual: tag all
Azalea Sawfly? - Nematus lipovskyi Azalea Sawfly? - Nematus lipovskyi Azalea Sawfly? - Nematus lipovskyi Azalea Sawfly? - Nematus lipovskyi - female

Moved

Tenthredinidae, Nematinae
Nematus lipovskyi Smith. All pictures are the same thing. I described this in 1974 from adults reared from larvae feeding on "Azalea, swamp azalea, Azalea mollis" (as they must have been called then). Not much was known of the habits except the larvae defoliate the plants and go into the soil and make a cocoon for pupation. There is a single generation a year, with adults and larval feeding in early spring. This is the first information on their oviposition behavior, and its very interesting to see that they oviposit in the buds. Very nice observations and with pictures. The species is known throughout the East, at least Maine to Alabama west to Wisconsin.

 
Thank you
for the ID, Dave. I'll have to photograph the larvae when they appear and add them to bugguide with a link to these photos. I have many more photos of these sawflies taken at the same time and place (65, including 28 showing the oviposition behavior). If you wish you may contact me and I could send them to you.

Moved for expert attention
Moved from ID Request.

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