“Who hath divided a watercourse for the overflowing of waters, or a way for the lightning of thunder; To cause it to rain on the earth, where no man is; on the wilderness, wherein there is no man; To satisfy the desolate and waste ground; and to cause the bud of the tender herb to spring forth? Hath the rain a father? or who hath begotten the drops of dew?” (Job 38:25-28 KJV)
When I saw this photo today, I asked permission from Barry Smith to use it. Thankfully, he has given permission and also for the usage of others on his Facebook site. Thanks, Barry.
Many species of sawfly have retained their ancestral attributes throughout time, specifically their plant-eating habits, wing veins and the unmodified abdomen, where the first two segments appear like the succeeding segments. The absence of the narrow wasp waist distinguishes sawflies from other members of hymenoptera, although some are Batesian mimics with coloration similar to wasps and bees, and the ovipositor can be mistaken for a stinger. Most sawflies are stubby and soft-bodied, and fly weakly. Sawflies vary in length: Urocerus gigas, which can be mistaken as a wasp due to its black-and-yellow striped body, can grow up to 20 millimetres (0.8 in) in length, but among the largest sawflies ever discovered was Hoplitolyda duolunica from the Mesozoic, with a body length of 55 millimetres (2.2 in) and a wingspan of 92 millimetres (3.6 in). The smaller species only reach lengths of 2.5 millimetres (0.1 in).
Predators include birds, insects and small animals. The larvae of some species have anti-predator adaptations such as regurgitating irritating liquid and clustering together for safety in numbers. Sawflies are hosts to many parasitoids, most of which are Hymenoptera, the rest being Diptera.
Adult sawflies are short-lived, with a life expectancy of 7–9 days, though the larval stage can last from months to years, depending on the species.
They are a pest for humans
Sawflies are major economic pests of forestry. For example, species in the Diprionidae, such as the pine sawflies, Diprion pini and Neodiprion sertifer, cause serious damage to pines in regions such as Scandinavia. D. pini larvae defoliated 500,000 hectares (1,200,000 acres) in the largest outbreak in Finland, between 1998 and 2001. Up to 75% of the trees may die after such outbreaks, as D. pini can remove all the leaves late in the growing season, leaving the trees too weak to survive the winter. Little damage to trees only occurs when the tree is large or when there is minimal presence of larvae. Eucalyptus trees can regenerate quickly from damage inflicted by the larvae; however, they can be substantially damaged from outbreaks, especially if they are young. The trees can be defoliated completely and may cause “dieback”, stunting or even death.
Sawflies are serious pests in horticulture. Different species prefer different host plants, often being specific to a family or genus of hosts. For example, Iris sawfly larvae, emerging in summer, can quickly defoliate species of Iris including the yellow flag and other freshwater species. Similarly the rose sawflies, Arge pagana and A. ochropus, defoliate rose bushes.
They are a pest for humans, yet the Lord, their Creator, cares enough for them to provide dew to drink.
“The LORD by wisdom hath founded the earth; by understanding hath he established the heavens. By his knowledge the depths are broken up, and the clouds drop down the dew.” (Proverbs 3:19-20 KJV)
Do we not sometimes misbehave, yet the Lord continues to provide water, sun, air to breathe, and other benefits for us? Critters are provided for, but we, humans, have even a greater blessing available to us. Salvation through the Lord Jesus Christ.