Caterpillar identification

Asked September 11, 2019, 12:17 PM EDT

We are inundated with these caterpillars this year, never having noticed them before. Would you please identify and let me know ramifications of their presence. The ones on the left are alive and seem to be different color phases. The one on the right is dead. Thank you Bruce Patrick Grayling, Mi

Crawford County Michigan caterpillar identification

4 Responses

Those are larvae of a a group of insects called Sawflies. They will turn into an adult insect that is related to the bees and wasps, but with a very different lifestyle. If you can tell me what plants they are eating in your yard, I might be able to give you some idea as to what species they are.

Thank you for your reply. The larvae are all around our vegetable garden and on a variety of plants in the garden, but they do not seem to be eating anything. I have also observed them around the yard away from the garden, even on a golf course a couple of miles away. We have never noticed them before and they very prevalent this year.

Okay, they are probably one of the many sawflies that feed on our conifers. They are probably wandering around looking for a place to spend the winter. A good candidate is the Introduced Pine Sawfly (Diprion similis):

Thank you, Nate.