[NAFEX] currant sawfly on gooseberries

Hélène Dessureault interverbis at videotron.ca
Thu Sep 23 14:02:51 EDT 2004

Hi Lon,
The insect that I was referring to corresponds perfectly to what Derry is so
aptly describing. Their appearance and the way they are eating the leaves.
In my zone 3-4, I get only one generation however, which is one
small advantage over zone 6-7.
Since you are mentioning natural predator, I want to tell you of a past
One year, as I was cleaning the leaves from the larvae, a twice a day chore
to be efficient, I noticed a few wasp-type insects on the red currant and
realized that they were laying eggs in those  larvae I was peeling off. and
I remember thinking that this was all very nice but that they were arriving
too late to save the situation.
But the very next day  when I went back to peel more larvae
(you can clean up the bush and the next time you show up, it is full again),
I noticed that the whole of the population of larvae had slowed down and
that they look "sick" you might say as compared to before. The wasps were
still around.  I didn't have to do much cleaning after that and the bush was
save for the year since the eating stopped and the condition of the poor
larvae got worst and worst.
However, the wasps don't show up every year, like this year for instance
where my red currant bush was half-way to being completely stripped before I
noticed. And yes, the black currants seem to be immune.
Hélène, north of Ottawa

----- Original Message -----
From: "Lon Rombough" <lonrom at hevanet.com>
To: "North American Fruit Explorers" <nafex at lists.ibiblio.org>
Sent: Thursday, September 23, 2004 12:40 PM
Subject: Re: [NAFEX] currant sawfly on gooseberries

Since they pupate in the soil, one thing I'd try would be killer
nematodes.  They attack all sorts of soil dwelling pests and did a good
job on strawberry root weevils I had trouble with one time.  If they
work on the sawfly pupae, it would be a long-term cure.
-Lon Rombough
Grapes, writing, consulting, my book, The Grape Grower, at
http://www.bunchgrapes.com  Winner of the Garden Writers Association
"Best Talent in Writing" award for 2003.
On Sep 23, 2004, at 9:22 AM, derry&bill wrote:


It's not really a caterpillar, but a caterpillar-like pest. It is the
larval form
of a sawfly. It looks like a caterpillar and it is green, smooth with
black spots
and a black head. Hymenoptera Family. A British reference calls it

The sawfly lays eggs along the underside of the veins of the currant
Depending on the weather, in south coastal B.C., the egg hatches at the
end of
April. There may be a second generation in June. They pupate in the
soil beneath
the currant bush. The sawfly emerges and flies up into the currant bush
to lay

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