Sawfly Larvae

Sawfly larvae are most often seen feeding on Eucalyptus and Melaleuca species. During the day, larvae tend to form large, closely packed groups on leaves and branches as a defense against predators. Very young larvae, as shown above, form smaller groups with their heads all pointing outwards, which is also a defense against predators. Larvae feed both day and night but at night they often disperse to feed individually. Young larvae feed only on the surface of the leaves while older larvae eat the entire leaf.

Sawfly larvae, in great quantities, are capable of defoliating whole trees and may cause dieback and possibly even death of trees if conditions are particularly harsh.