Sawfly GenUS is now complete

ITP is pleased to announce that Sawfly GenUS is now complete. Developed in cooperation with the Washington State Department of Agriculture, Sawfly GenUS is an interactive identification tool for all sawfly genera found in the United States and Canada. This tool is intended to help recognize exotic sawfly introductions and provide access to general information on affected plants, range, and diversity of these insects. This tool should be useful for port identifiers and screeners, provincial and state departments of agriculture, university extension professionals, and any non-expert with an interest in sawflies.

Sawflies are a unique group of wasp-like herbivorous insects, many of which are economic pests in North America. They have a variety of plant-feeding behaviors; they feed on leaves both externally and as leaf-miners and bore into stems of grasses, shrubs, and trees. Most sawfly species have low population densities and seldom cause economically or ecologically significant damage. However, some have periodic population outbreaks, and a few are persistent pests. Although there are pestiferous sawfly species native to North America, introduced species generally pose the greatest challenges to land managers, horticulturalists, and farmers. Species recently introduced to a region through international trade and travel can be especially damaging, having escaped pathogens or predators that were adapted to them in their historic range. North America is very vulnerable to exotic insect species since the United States is the world’s largest importer, and because commonly traded agricultural products frequently harbor insects. Sawflies have been documented entering North America via wood packing material and nursery stock, leading to several established pests.

Sawfly GenUS has been updated to include the most diverse family, Tenthredinidae, so it now provides identification support to genus for all North American genera of sawflies and all species of Sirex. This release also includes a searchable host plant list.

Sawfly GenUS joins ITP's collection of 47 identification tool websites.