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Green Sawfly

Identify It >   Invertebrate Section >   Green Sawfly >

Scientific name:  Rhogogaster viridis

Size:  Up to 15mm long.  Wingspan approximately 40mm

Distribution:  Found throughout the UK

Months seen:  May to August

Habitat:  Woodland rides, hedgerows and scrub.  Often on flowers.

Food:  Small invertebrates.  The caterpillars feed on various trees and shrubs

Special features:  The green sawfly is a fairly common species in the UK.  The body is a bright green colour with variable black markings.  There are several similar looking species.  The female is equipped with a saw-like ovipositor (egg laying tube) which she uses to to cut into plants to lay her eggs.

The larvae look very similar to caterpillars, but they have six true legs plus six or more pairs of abdominal prolegs (prolegs are those chubby legs at the back which look like they have suction cups for feet).  The caterpillars of butterflies and moths have up to five pairs of prolegs, plus the six true legs.

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