Azalea sawfly

It is hard to notice the little green azalea sawflies on their host azalea plants due to their perfectly matched green color. It is hard to miss the severe damage from these caterpillar-like larvae as they can completely defoliate azaleas leaving only remnants of leaf veins as the only indicator that the twig once had leaves. The species in Oregon has been confirmed as Nematus lipovskyi.

Web resources

Collman, S. and M. Bush. 2016. Azalea sawfly. Azalea (Rhododendron) Pests and Hosts of Landscape Plants. Pacific Northwest Insect Management Handbook. March 26, 2016. <28 April 2016>

Macek, J. and P. Sipek. 2015. Azalea sawfly Nematus lipovskyi (Hymenoptera: Tenthredinidae), a new invasive species in Europe. Eur. J. Entomol. 112(1): 180–186, 2015. <29 April 2016>

Orginal publication: 4/28/16
Latest publication: 5/10/2017


Author: R.L. Rosetta, Extension Nursery Integrated Pest Management, Department of Horticulture, Oregon State University

Azalea sawfly damage on lower parts of the shrub

Feeding damage from azalea sawfly larvae on Exbury azalea

Severe damage from azalea sawfly on Exbury azalea

Near complete defoliation of Exbury azalea by azalea sawfly

Azalea sawfly larvae and damage on Exbury azale

Azalea sawfly larvae hiding in plain sight

Azalea sawfly larvae - multiple instars