Steel-blue sawfly larva, spitfires Click to enlarge image
Steel-blue sawfly larva, spitfires Image: unknown
© Australian Museum

Fast Facts

  • Classification
    Genus
    Perga
    Subfamily
    Perginae
    Family
    Pergidae
    Super Family
    Tenthredinoidea
    Suborder
    Symphyta
    Order
    Hymenoptera
    Class
    Insecta
    Subphylum
    Uniramia
    Phylum
    Arthopoda
    Kingdom
    Animalia
  • Size Range
    4 mm - 18 mm

Introduction

Steel-blue Sawfly larvae are also known as 'spitfires' as they can eject an irritating fluid from their mouth. This defence method ensures predators avoid them, enabling them to reach high numbers.

Habitat

The Steel-blue Sawfly lives in urban areas, forests and woodlands.

Distribution

The Steel-blue Sawfly is found in south-eastern Australia.

Feeding and diet

Steel-blue Sawfly larvae in the Sydney area feed on eucalypts.

Economic impacts

The Steel-blue Sawfly can sometimes cause extensive damage to trees.