Last One Standing

Large Rose Sawfly Arge pagana larva

Or maybe I should I titled this blog ‘Last One Munching’. I have been watching these Large Rose Sawfly (Arge pagana) larvae for the past few days, and how they have chobbled on my rose leaves and how they have grown fat on them. This is the final instar stage and the others had dropped off the leaf into the garden border to pupate, and this was the last remaining one, still merrily chomping away. This was yesterday afternoon. This afternoon it had gone, too. Below are some images I took a few days earlier.

Large Rose Sawfly Arge pagana larva

I couldn’t believe that with all those rose-bush leaves they were all trying to nibble on what little was left of this one.

Large Rose Sawfly Arge pagana larva

September 2017, rear garden, Staffordshire, England.

Four For Dinner

Large Rose Sawfly Arge pagana larva

They have been at my roses all summer so far, and they are certainly making a meal of them. These are Large Rose Sawfly (Arge pagana) larva, young instars most likely. And four of them seem to like this one particular leaf for some reason. I feel sorry for the top two, for when they finally meet in the middle it will be the guy sitting on the branch he is sawing off scenario. Or maybe it won’t come to that.


Rear garden, Staffordshire, England. July 2017.


Please click on an image for a larger more detailed view. Clicking a second time may get you a little closer.

More Devastation

Large Rose Sawfly (Arge pagana)

They are at it again. I have posted on these previously this year, and these sawfly larvae, called Large Rose Sawfly (Arge pagana), are stripping my rose-bush leaves again. They seem to be very methodical in their consumption of the leaves, completely stripping individual leaves bare before moving onto others, leaving ravaged skeleton stalks behind them. They must be another generation.

But if the little birds catch site of them, they are a good source of protein.

Please see my previous posts ‘Balancing Act’ and ‘Life In A Week’ for more information.

Photograph of Large Rose Sawfly (Arge pagana), taken August 2016, rear garden , Staffordshire. © Pete Hillman 2016. Camera used Nikon D7200, with Sigma 105mm macro lens with softbox flash diffuser.

Life In A Week

It’s amazing how things can change in just one week, especially if you are an insect. Last week I posted ‘Balancing Act’, which showed these caterpillars in an early stage of development, and after one week of almost continuous feasting on my rose-bush leaves how they have grown and changed.

These are Large Rose Sawfly (Arge pagana) larvae, and how bright yellow and distinctly marked they have become within just a short period of time. They can grow up to 25mm in length. By the end of this month they will have dropped from the rose leaves to bury themselves in the earth. Pupation will take place in a very short time, and at the start of August the brightly yellow coloured adults will emerge to begin the cycle over again.

Balancing Act

Large Rose Sawfly (Arge pagana) larvae

Another species of sawfly on my roses, and I believe these may only be young instars. There are two species of large rose sawfly in Britain, this species being the more common of the two, the other being Arge ochropus. Sawfly have good balancing skills, and to ward off predators they jerk their tail ends around in the air.

The adults, which I have seen flying around the garden, are quite distinctive and have bright yellow abdomens. The female makes a tiny saw cut in plant tissue in which she will lay her eggs. The resulting caterpillars will feed in groups, and they can strip leaves quite rapidly if in large numbers.

Two to three generations of Large Rose Sawfly maybe produced from May to October. They are seen in parks and gardens, also hedgerows, anywhere where rose occurs. Common and widespread.

Photographs taken July 2016, rear garden, Staffordshire.