Ametastegia glabrata Fallen Dock sawfly

Dock sawfly is a widely distributed but minor pest of fruit crops, especially apple and grape vines. The larvae feed on various weeds and, when fully grown, sometimes bore into mature apple fruits; larvae may also bore into the pith of shoots or branches of young fruit trees, vines and other cultivated plants, often entering through pruning cuts. Damage in apple fruits is characteristic, and consists of a straight, often deep tunnel (up to 5 cm long), surmounted by a red-ringed entry hole about 2 mm in diameter; however, larvae are rarely found inside damaged fruits. The larvae have also been reported burrowing into plastic irrigation pipes.

BIOLOGY

The larvae feed during the summer on the leaves of weeds such as Chenopodium, Polygonum and Rumex. When fully fed, they usually pupate in pithy or hollow stems of plants such as Rubus, but individuals may also bore into low-growing branches of fruit trees. In autumn, fully fed larvae in their search for overwintering sites may also burrow into maturing apples; however, finding them unsuitable, they soon leave for other quarters. Two or three generations occur throughout the summer.

DESCRIPTION

Adult 5.5-8.0mm long and shiny purplish bronzy-black; legs mainly red. Larva 13-18 mm long; body apple-green; head brownish; abdominal prolegs eight pairs present.

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