Sawfly larvae on birch

These sawfly larvae are making short work of devouring the leaves on this birch sapling.
These sawfly larvae are making short work of devouring the leaves on this birch sapling.
I think these are the larvae of Croesus latipes - I can't find a common name for them. They are considered a minor nuisance, not a serious pest.
I think these are the larvae of Croesus latipes – I can’t find a common name for them. They are considered a minor nuisance, not a serious pest.

The posture the larvae are adopting is characteristic of many sawfly larvae. Also note the way their stubby little prolegs start from segment five (the first three pairs of legs are the proper legs that will remain in the adult, they are on segments one, two and three).

Generally, caterpillars of moths and butterflies have fewer prolegs than sawfly larvae and they start further back than segment five. Have a look at the post about caterpillars on redcurrants for a labelled photo showing the segments, legs and prolegs.

 

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