Sawflies get their name from the sawlike ovipositor that females of most species have to cut a slit into plant tissue before laying each egg. You can see that this particular sawfly is a female, with her ovipositor poking out past her wings. And, while it resembles a stinger, she can’t sting. The second half of their name is misleading. They are not flies at all. They are actually in the same order as wasps, bees, and ants, called Hymenoptera. While many in the group have a constricted connection between the thorax and abdomen or “wasp waist,” sawflies have a comparatively broad one. We don’t know the exact life story of this sawfly, but members of this family’s caterpillar-like larvae feed on male pine cones, new pine shoots, and new buds of deciduous trees.
Photo by Heather McKee on 3/25/20 in Missoula, MT