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Goosbeberry Sawfly


Goosbeberry Sawfly

Usually appear in

Spring and Summer

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Caused By:-     The larvae of several Sawflies.


The common gooseberry sawfly larvae(Nematus ribesii) is one of at least three sawflies larvae that can strip the leaves from Gooseberry bushes in as little time as three weeks. Two others are the pale gooseberry sawfly (Pristiphora pallipes) and the lesser gooseberry sawfly (N.leucotrochus). They can have up to three generations in one season and therefore if the first attack is stopped other attacks may still occur. The female sawflies lay eggs on the underside of leaves, often in the centre of the bush, so the young larvae often go unnoticed until they have eaten a large part of the bush. The fruit is not usually attacked. The larvae are usually pale and shiny with black spots and have three pairs of legs at the front. Each other segment of the body has a pair of fleshy proto-legs and the larvae can grow up to 20mm long. When the larvae are fully fed, they go into the soil, where they spin silk cocoons and pupate. Overwintering pupae hatch in April and lay eggs on the young leaves in rows parallel to the main vein. The sawflies also attack other Ribes plants, but tend to leave black currants alone.
See these other Sawflies Apple, Aquilegia, Geranium, Geum, Iris, Large Rose, Plum, Rose Leaf-rolling, Sawflies, Solomom Seal.


Continued vigilance is necessary as the sawflies are difficult to catch laying eggs. Spraying at the correct time is necessary with repeat spraying being necessary. One organic way to prevent attack is to spray the bush with a soup made by pouring hot water over foxgloves leaves.

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