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Nematus pavidus larvae twinsies, Netherlands Assuming I have the species right, meet an obsessive feeder. These larvae feed in groups and often in an S shape as seen on the photo. Supposedly it is a defensive pose to deflect attacks, but I&#039;m unsure of how it works in detail.<br />
<br />
As this leaf was half-ruined, I cut it off and put it on a larger leaf for some closeups. During all this handling, they didn&#039;t care and just kept feeding, no matter what I did. <br />
<br />
This observation is also a lesson in the importance of knowledge. Our region is currently plagued by the notorious buxus moth, an invasive species that shreds plants to bits in the blink of an eye. Henriette assumed this was such a case, and proceeded to cut of all affected leafs and dispose of the larvae. Only afterwards did I find out that despite a superficial resemblance, this is not a buxus moth larvae. <br />
<br />
It&#039;s still a plague though that had eaten half a tall plant in a day or so, so I don&#039;t disagree with the disposal. Note that this species is also referred to as the birch sawfly, yet that common name is ambiguous and can refer to multiple species.<br />
<br />
Feeding formation:<br />
<figure class="photo"><a href="https://www.jungledragon.com/image/61286/nematus_pavidus_larvae_frenzy_netherlands.html" title="Nematus pavidus larvae frenzy, Netherlands"><img src="https://s3.amazonaws.com/media.jungledragon.com/images/2/61286_thumb.jpg?AWSAccessKeyId=05GMT0V3GWVNE7GGM1R2&Expires=1600300810&Signature=QgIVd1%2FjPxg7sU22slRld%2BeXQ%2Bw%3D" width="200" height="102" alt="Nematus pavidus larvae frenzy, Netherlands Assuming I have the species right, meet an obsessive feeder. These larvae feed in groups and often in an S shape as seen on the photo. Supposedly it is a defensive pose to deflect attacks, but I&#039;m unsure of how it works in detail.<br />
<br />
As this leaf was half-ruined, I cut it off and put it on a larger leaf for some closeups. During all this handling, they didn&#039;t care and just kept feeding, no matter what I did. <br />
<br />
This observation is also a lesson in the importance of knowledge. Our region is currently plagued by the notorious buxus moth, an invasive species that shreds plants to bits in the blink of an eye. Henriette assumed this was such a case, and proceeded to cut of all affected leafs and dispose of the larvae. Only afterwards did I find out that despite a superficial resemblance, this is not a buxus moth larvae. <br />
<br />
It&#039;s still a plague though that had eaten half a tall plant in a day or so, so I don&#039;t disagree with the disposal. Note that this species is also referred to as the birch sawfly, yet that common name is ambiguous and can refer to multiple species.<br />
<br />
Closeup of an individual:<br />
https://www.jungledragon.com/image/61287/flat-legged_tenthred_larvae_closeup_netherlands.html<br />
Twinsies ;)<br />
<br />
https://www.jungledragon.com/image/61288/flat-legged_tenthred_larvae_twinsies_netherlands.html Europe,Heesch,Nematus pavidus,Netherlands,World" /></a></figure><br />
Individual:<br />
<br />
<figure class="photo"><a href="https://www.jungledragon.com/image/61287/nematus_pavidus_larvae_closeup_netherlands.html" title="Nematus pavidus larvae closeup, Netherlands"><img src="https://s3.amazonaws.com/media.jungledragon.com/images/2/61287_thumb.jpg?AWSAccessKeyId=05GMT0V3GWVNE7GGM1R2&Expires=1600300810&Signature=rIqlhpfFDyW3tw1Hvbr4fwo0eR4%3D" width="200" height="176" alt="Nematus pavidus larvae closeup, Netherlands Assuming I have the species right, meet an obsessive feeder. These larvae feed in groups and often in an S shape as seen on the photo. Supposedly it is a defensive pose to deflect attacks, but I&#039;m unsure of how it works in detail.<br />
<br />
As this leaf was half-ruined, I cut it off and put it on a larger leaf for some closeups. During all this handling, they didn&#039;t care and just kept feeding, no matter what I did. <br />
<br />
This observation is also a lesson in the importance of knowledge. Our region is currently plagued by the notorious buxus moth, an invasive species that shreds plants to bits in the blink of an eye. Henriette assumed this was such a case, and proceeded to cut of all affected leafs and dispose of the larvae. Only afterwards did I find out that despite a superficial resemblance, this is not a buxus moth larvae. <br />
<br />
It&#039;s still a plague though that had eaten half a tall plant in a day or so, so I don&#039;t disagree with the disposal. Note that this species is also referred to as the birch sawfly, yet that common name is ambiguous and can refer to multiple species.<br />
<br />
Feeding formation:<br />
https://www.jungledragon.com/image/61286/flat-legged_tenthred_larvae_frenzy_netherlands.html<br />
Twinsies ;)<br />
<br />
https://www.jungledragon.com/image/61288/flat-legged_tenthred_larvae_twinsies_netherlands.html Europe,Heesch,Nematus pavidus,Netherlands,World" /></a></figure> Europe,Heesch,Nematus pavidus,Netherlands,World Click/tap to enlarge Promoted

Nematus pavidus larvae twinsies, Netherlands

Assuming I have the species right, meet an obsessive feeder. These larvae feed in groups and often in an S shape as seen on the photo. Supposedly it is a defensive pose to deflect attacks, but I'm unsure of how it works in detail.

As this leaf was half-ruined, I cut it off and put it on a larger leaf for some closeups. During all this handling, they didn't care and just kept feeding, no matter what I did.

This observation is also a lesson in the importance of knowledge. Our region is currently plagued by the notorious buxus moth, an invasive species that shreds plants to bits in the blink of an eye. Henriette assumed this was such a case, and proceeded to cut of all affected leafs and dispose of the larvae. Only afterwards did I find out that despite a superficial resemblance, this is not a buxus moth larvae.

It's still a plague though that had eaten half a tall plant in a day or so, so I don't disagree with the disposal. Note that this species is also referred to as the birch sawfly, yet that common name is ambiguous and can refer to multiple species.

Feeding formation:

Nematus pavidus larvae frenzy, Netherlands Assuming I have the species right, meet an obsessive feeder. These larvae feed in groups and often in an S shape as seen on the photo. Supposedly it is a defensive pose to deflect attacks, but I'm unsure of how it works in detail.<br />
<br />
As this leaf was half-ruined, I cut it off and put it on a larger leaf for some closeups. During all this handling, they didn't care and just kept feeding, no matter what I did. <br />
<br />
This observation is also a lesson in the importance of knowledge. Our region is currently plagued by the notorious buxus moth, an invasive species that shreds plants to bits in the blink of an eye. Henriette assumed this was such a case, and proceeded to cut of all affected leafs and dispose of the larvae. Only afterwards did I find out that despite a superficial resemblance, this is not a buxus moth larvae. <br />
<br />
It's still a plague though that had eaten half a tall plant in a day or so, so I don't disagree with the disposal. Note that this species is also referred to as the birch sawfly, yet that common name is ambiguous and can refer to multiple species.<br />
<br />
Closeup of an individual:<br />
https://www.jungledragon.com/image/61287/flat-legged_tenthred_larvae_closeup_netherlands.html<br />
Twinsies ;)<br />
<br />
https://www.jungledragon.com/image/61288/flat-legged_tenthred_larvae_twinsies_netherlands.html Europe,Heesch,Nematus pavidus,Netherlands,World

Individual:

Nematus pavidus larvae closeup, Netherlands Assuming I have the species right, meet an obsessive feeder. These larvae feed in groups and often in an S shape as seen on the photo. Supposedly it is a defensive pose to deflect attacks, but I'm unsure of how it works in detail.<br />
<br />
As this leaf was half-ruined, I cut it off and put it on a larger leaf for some closeups. During all this handling, they didn't care and just kept feeding, no matter what I did. <br />
<br />
This observation is also a lesson in the importance of knowledge. Our region is currently plagued by the notorious buxus moth, an invasive species that shreds plants to bits in the blink of an eye. Henriette assumed this was such a case, and proceeded to cut of all affected leafs and dispose of the larvae. Only afterwards did I find out that despite a superficial resemblance, this is not a buxus moth larvae. <br />
<br />
It's still a plague though that had eaten half a tall plant in a day or so, so I don't disagree with the disposal. Note that this species is also referred to as the birch sawfly, yet that common name is ambiguous and can refer to multiple species.<br />
<br />
Feeding formation:<br />
https://www.jungledragon.com/image/61286/flat-legged_tenthred_larvae_frenzy_netherlands.html<br />
Twinsies ;)<br />
<br />
https://www.jungledragon.com/image/61288/flat-legged_tenthred_larvae_twinsies_netherlands.html Europe,Heesch,Nematus pavidus,Netherlands,World

    comments (20)

  1. Twinsies, lol :) Posted 2 years ago
    1. Bahaha!!! Posted 2 years ago
    2. hehe :) Posted 2 years ago
  2. Really great capture! In sync Posted 2 years ago
    1. Thanks, Stephen. To be fair, I did rotate the photo to align them :) Posted 2 years ago
  3. The idea behind the defensive posture goes something like this: Normally the hind body will be held inline, but when panic breaks out the larvae whip up their tails in a perfectly coordinated group effort (all at the same time). Supposedly, to the casual predator this should give the suggestion of one much larger organism, making the predator think twice about a possible attack/meal. I should have some short (and very old) movies of that, will see if I can find them, but it might not be easy.
    Somehow, the larvae must get lazy, tired of whipping their tails in group dance all the time, so at times you see them carry on like this in a constant posture, or maybe some species have "evolved" beyond the effectiveness and got stuck with this as a base posture? ;o)
    Posted 2 years ago, modified 2 years ago
    1. Holy crap, a synchronized deflection tactic, that is quite amazing when you think about it. Posted 2 years ago
      1. Yes, but quite more common than you might expect. Some species of Harvestmen (Opliones) of the genus Leiobunum will rest together in big (huge) groups of 10-1000 animals and when disturbed start bobbin their bodies up and down on their long legs (synchronized!) making the whole cluster look like one big black patch bobbing up and down - more the size of a breathing mammal such as a cat or something than a small harvestman. Or what to thing about small fish popping in and out of hiding in a plant or coral, also synchronized... Posted 2 years ago
        1. Reminds me of when little fish form a bait ball too... Posted 2 years ago
    2. That's incredible! Posted 2 years ago
  4. Awesome! Posted 2 years ago
    1. Thanks! Posted 2 years ago
  5. Ferdy, there is quite some variability in appearance between development stages of many sawfly larvae and this is not my field, but somehow I have trouble finding exact matches for yours in Craesus (sp. or septentrionalis). My first thoughts would be more in the direction of Nematus spp, but I don't readily find good matches there either.
    It would help to know what tree these were on - looks like some narrow leaf Salix or something?
    Posted 2 years ago
    1. Thank you, Arp. When checking for reference images of sawfly larvae I found quite a lot of near-matches but also possible misidentifications, so there's good odds this is wrong too. Just made a quick snap of the plant it was on:

      Host plant of sawfly larvae Just a quick reference shot of the host plant in our garden on which we found these larvae:<br />
https://www.jungledragon.com/image/61286/flat-legged_tenthred_larvae_frenzy_netherlands.html<br />
The larvae were only found on this plant, not on any other plant in the garden. Geotagged,Netherlands,Spring
      Posted 2 years ago, modified 2 years ago
    2. Somebody on Facebook suggested "Nematus pavidus". Thoughts? Posted 2 years ago
      1. Yes, that looks quite right :o) I was a bit set off by the photo of the plant as it somehow looks like bamboo to me (I thought I saw a segmented stem) ... shows you how embarrassingly useless I am with plants ;o)
        I was doubting my Nematus-feeling as most Nematus seem to have extra sets of black dots between the lower row (just above the legs) and the dorsal stripe. But this species doesn't and it's a good match for the feeling I had looking at the leaves in the first instance (Willow). Here are other images of this species, validated by our expert Ad Mol:
        https://waarneming.nl/soort/photos/26857?from=1980-01-01&id_kleed=1063&only_approved=1
        Posted 2 years ago, modified 2 years ago
        1. I can imagine the plant being confusing. Garden has had a full renovation and I had no say in the plants, they seem to come from all parts of the world, and I don't really know them :)

          Thanks for confirming the alternative species, corrected the posts.
          Posted 2 years ago
  6. I found some youtube videos!!
    Posted 2 years ago
    1. One more:
      Posted 2 years ago
    2. I'm speechless, that is SO COOL! Posted 2 years ago

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Nematus pavidus is a sawfly in the Nematus genus.

Species identified by Ferdy Christant
View Ferdy Christant's profile

By Ferdy Christant

All rights reserved
Uploaded Jun 7, 2018. Captured Jun 7, 2018 16:49.
  • NIKON D850
  • f/16.0
  • 1/60s
  • ISO64
  • 105mm