Pear Sawfly, Hoplocampa brevis (Foerster)

I. Introduction: Closely related to the European apple sawfly (Tenthredinidae). This pear sawfly is a separate species from another sawfly species on pear, commonly known as pear slug, which is a foliar feeder.  On May 24, 2005, Mark Brown, Appalachian Fruit Research Station, USDA-ARS, at Kearneysville, announced that for the last 3 years Richard Bell, pear breeder, and Rob Alleman, technician at AFRS, have noticed "apple sawfly-like" damage to pears.  Dave Smith (USDA, ARS, Systematic Entomology Lab) has determined from specimens collected from pears at AFRS that these are pear sawfly, Hoplocampa brevis.  It has probably been in the area for several years (it was found in Pennsylvania and Maryland in the mid-1960's).   Pear fruit do not show the spiral type of injury that apples show from early apple sawfly instar damage, but the fruit is scarred and most of the damaged fruit drop before "June drop".

II. Hosts: Pear sawfly develops on pear.  Another common name is cherry sawfly.

III. Description: Adults are reddish-yellow, with yellow legs. Length is 4-5 mm (smaller that EAS).  Larvae are 8-12 mm. Color of larvae is yellow-grey with a reddish-brown head.  The INRA web site (in French) contains several photos:
Adult on bloom, egg and oviposition scar, injury on young pears, injury with moist frass.

IV. Biology: Adut females lay eggs on pear blossoms at late bloom.  The larvae burrows beneath the surface of the  fruit before digging in to the center, where it feeds on the seeds. This is termed primary attack.  A larvae may leave the fruit and attack a second fruit (secondary attack).  Larvae drop to the ground, where they overwinter. Pupation occurs in the spring.

V. Injury: Larvae feed internally in fruit, producing tunneling and moist frass. Injured fruit are more likely to drop prematurely.

Additional references:

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