Social Pear Sawfly Neurotoma saltuum

Social Pear Sawfly Larvae
Social Pear Sawfly Larvae
Shown is the larvae of Neurotoma saltuum, also called the Social Pear Sawfly. Many thanks to John van Roosmalen, Validator Moths on observation.org, The Netherlands for the ID. Usually found on pear or hawthorn, the amber-coloured larvae are surprisingly large for sawflies. They live in dense colonies within a silk web on their foodplant.
Social Pear Sawfly Larvae and silk web
Social Pear Sawfly Larvae
Social Pear Sawfly Larvae
The larvae make the silk web to protect themselves from predators, both birds/small mammals and parasitoid wasps/flies.
Social Pear Sawfly Larvae
Social Pear Sawfly Larvae
Social Pear Sawfly Larvae
Their habits and habitat are similar to those of the smaller Hawthorn Moth Caterpillar, Scythropia crataegella, also often found in dense webbed tents on hawthorn, blackthorn and cotoneaster. The thorns provide additional protection.
Social Pear Sawfly Larvae
Social Pear Sawfly Larvae webbing on hawthorn sapling
Social Pear Sawfly Larvae and web
The larvae make quite a mess of the host bush, not only defoliating it but also leaving the webbing and frass (droppings) on the branches they have stripped.