Identification, biology, and management of conifer sawflies (Hymenoptera: Diprioninae) in eastern North America

Jeremy S. Davis, Ashleigh N. Glover, Kathryn M. Everson, David R. Coyle, Catherine R. Linnen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Pine sawflies (Hymenoptera: Diprionidae) are eruptive herbivores found throughout eastern North America. The Diprionidae family, which contains at least 140 species, constitutes the most persistent threat to conifers as population outbreaks can cause widespread defoliation. Because some species are more prone to large, destructive outbreaks than others, species identification is critical to effective management. Although existing taxonomic keys are primarily based on internal adult morphology, substantial variation among species in larval color traits, geographic location, overwintering strategy, host plant, and egg patterns can be diagnostic at the species level. Here, we focus on the Pinaceae-feeding subfamily Diprioninae, of which there are 25 species in eastern North America. We describe the general biology, life cycle, and host-use ecology of Diprioninae, with an emphasis on the variation among these traits within this subfamily. In addition, we provide tools for species identification, including a taxonomic key that utilizes external diagnostic characteristics. Finally, we discuss available management strategies.

Original languageEnglish
Article number13
JournalJournal of Integrated Pest Management
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2023

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2023 The Author(s). Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of Entomological Society of America.


  • Hymenoptera
  • conifer
  • key
  • pine
  • sawfly

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Agronomy and Crop Science
  • Plant Science
  • Insect Science
  • Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law


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