Entomology (Study of Bugs)/identification



I've submitted this photo to several websites inquiring about what it is, caterpillar, wasp or other such insect. I found in in Shediac Cape, New Brunswick. I am always walking the woods foraging and I was flabbergasted by this beauty. I took the oicture on September 24, 2015. I've not encountered it before and am coming up empty in all my research.

Your help will greatly appreciated!

Laura Berry

Hi, Laura Berry:

Thank you for including the wonderful images with your question.  I would have been intensely curious myself.

In fact, I only recognized this as a sawfly larva, rather than a caterpillar, but was clueless as to what species.  After a bit of research, looks like it is the larva of the Dogwood Sawfly:


Sawfly larvae look and behave much like caterpillars of butterflies and moths.  The only sure-fire way to separate them is by counting the prolegs (those knob-like projections along the length of the abdomen than act like little suction cups).  Butterfly and moth caterpillars have at most five (5) pairs of prolegs.  Sawfly larvae have seven (7) pairs.

Thanks again for your question!


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.

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

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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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