Arge pagana Panzer Variable rose sawfly

This often abundant species, which is widely distributed in continental Europe and in much of southern Britain, is a destructive pest of cultivated rose. The larvae cause extensive skeletonization and defoliation that affects the development and appearance of bushes.


Adults occur from May onwards. Eggs are deposited in rows within the young shoots and flower stalks, the female's ovipositor leaving long, characteristic scars. Larvae feed voraciously on the expanded foliage from June onwards. When fully fed, they pupate in the soil, each in a double-walled cocoon; adults emerge shortly afterwards. There are two main generations annually, but larvae continue to be found on bushes well into the autumn.


Adult 7-9 mm long, black with a mainly yellow abdomen. Larva up to 25 mm long; body bluish-green, suffused with yellow dorsally; pinacula shiny black and arranged in distinct longitudinal and transverse rows; head black or yellowish-orange; thoracic legs black; abdominal prolegs five pairs present (Plate 16c).

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