Sunday, May 9, 2010
This little insect is a sawfly (Dolerus unicolor), this particular species seems to favor various grasses as the plant of choice to lay their eggs. The young larvae look very much like caterpillars. Their feeding habits can cause significant damage if present in large numbers. The name "sawfly" comes from the ovipositor on the female. This saw-like projection is used to saw into the leaves or stems of various plants to deposit their eggs. This process happens very quickly and is oftentimes impossible to see. Most adult sawflies nectar at flowers. There are a few species of sawflies that are carnivorous and will feed on other insects.
I found this one on some dried grasses in between two fields and near a timberline with a creek running through it. Which seems to be the favored habitat for this species. Riparian areas near timber.