Entomology (Study of Bugs)/caterpillar??


QUESTION: What in the world are these?? 100's of them  covering a red-twig
deciduous tree,late Sept. Washington state??
Thank You.

ANSWER: Dorothe:

If you had intended to attach an image, then you failed to do so....and frankly, without some kind of visual clue, I cannot be of assistance.

Adult insects are hard enough to ID from descriptions, and even with images in some cases.  Larval insects are nearly impossible to ID under the *best* of circumstances.

Please feel free to try again with an image this time.  Also, if you can nail down the name of the tree they were on, that could help greatly, too.


---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

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QUESTION: Trying to correctly send an image but having problem...don't know why.

Red-twig dogwood. Will keep trying.........Sorry !!

Hi again, Dorothe:

The image came through just fine, and now it is easy to tell what you have:

Dogwood Sawfly larvae.  Sawflies are stingless wasps that have larvae which feed on plants and greatly resemble caterpillars.  Here's more information:


Hope this helps.


Entomology (Study of Bugs)

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Eric R. Eaton


I answer insect and spider identification questions ONLY. Attach images if possible. No "what bit me?", "what do I feed this bug in captivity?", or science fair project questions please. NO TECHNICAL QUESTIONS ABOUT INSECT PHYSIOLOGY.


Principal author, Kaufman Field Guide to Insects of North America. Professional entomologist employed previously at University of Massachusetts, Chase Studio, Inc., and Cincinnati Zoo; contract work for West Virginia Department of Natural Resources, Smithsonian Institution, and Portland (Oregon) State University.

Author, Kaufman Field Guide to Insects of North America, Missouri Conservationist magazine, Ranger Rick, Birds & Blooms, Timeline (journal of the Ohio Historical Society). I have contributed to several books as well.

Oregon State University, undergraduate major in entomology, did not receive degree.

Awards and Honors
One of the top 50 experts in all categories for AllExperts.com, 2009.

Past/Present Clients
Principal author of the Kaufman Field Guide to Insects of North America, Smithsonian Institution (contract), Cincinnati Zoo (employer), Portland State University (contract), Chase Studio, Inc (employer), Arkansas Museum of Discovery (guest speaker). Currently seeking speaking engagements, leadership roles at nature festivals, workshops, and ecotours.

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