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elm zigzag sawfly damage

Side-by-side image of two leaves showing damage from a elm zigzag sawfly larva. The left image is a green leaf against a white background, with several gaps eaten away from the leaf edge that trace a zigzag path toward the middle of the leaf. The right image shows two leaves still on a tree viewed from below, with the sky in the background. The leaves have several zigzag patterns eaten into them, with the small sawfly larva visible at the innermost point of each path.

The elm zigzag sawfly (Aproceros leucopoda) is now established in several places in North America. This non-native forest pest can be a threat to elm species and hybrids and is capable of large defoliation events. Early instar larvae make a zigzag pattern as they feed from the edge of the leaf toward the midrib, creating unmistakable feeding damage that can be relatively easily identified. A new review highlights elm zigzag sawfly biology, ecology, and management strategies in the U.S. (Image by Matthew Bertone, Ph.D. [left], and Eric Day, Ph.D. [right], originally published in Oten et al 2023, Journal of Integrated Pest Management)

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