We included an adult in an earlier What’s Buzzin’ report (on the right for reference), so it’s nice to see a representative of the next generation. Sawfly larvae look very similar to caterpillars, but they’ve got a little extra in the proleg department, the “false” legs along the abdomen that look like suction cups. Butterfly and moth caterpillars have no more than five pairs of prolegs, while sawfly larvae have more than five pairs. Like caterpillars, most are herbivores; this particular one was observed feeding on its host plant of snowberry. Adults may look like a fly (and have “fly” in their name), but they are actually in the order Hymenoptera (wasps, bees, and ants). Abia americana is in the genus Cimbicidae and is the only member of this genus in western North America.
Photo by Jean Wilkerson Woessner on 6/25/20 in Finley Point on Flathead Lake, MT.