Hoplocampa flava L. - Plum Sawfly

Systematic position.

Class Insecta, order Hymenoptera, family Tenthredinidae, genus Hoplocampa Hartig.

Biological group.

This is a pest of plum, cherry plum, apricot, sloe, cherry.

Morphology and biology.

The major part of the body is polished, yellow in color. Eyes elongated. Apical margin of clypeus is deeply emarginated. Vertex towers above ocelli. Antennae are 9-segmented, yellowish. Wings transparent, with yellow veins; basal part of pterostigma darkened. Ovipositor is distinctly shorter than hind tibia. Body length of adult reaches 4-5 mm. Larva with 7 pairs of abdominal prolegs, yellowish-white; head brownish or orange. It molts 4 times. Body length in last instar reaches 6-8 mm. Larva of the last instar hibernates in tight cocoon in soil at a depth of 4-6 cm, rarely down to 15 cm. Pupation occurs in spring, 2-3 weeks before blossoming. Adults emerge 1-2 days before the beginning of plum blossoming. Mating and oviposition begin after additional feeding of adults on nectar and pollen of fruiters. Female scarifies epidermis of calyx by ovipositor and lays eggs one by one into fruitlet. Life span of adults is 3-16 days. Fertility is near 70 eggs. Egg development lasts 9-14 days. After hatching the larva feeds on pericarp; later, during the middle and last instars, it eats unripe fruit-stone. Larva develops in 14-25 days, injuring about 6 fruits during this period.


The species is known from West Europe, Asia Minor and the Palestine. In the former USSR it inhabits most of the European part north to the Baltic States and east to Ural, and the Caucasus.


All fruitlets and fruits damaged by larvae fall to the ground. Larvae of the last instar fall to the ground inside fruits when they drop, then move onto the surface layer of the ground for hibernation.

Economic significance.

Losses of crop yield for plum in the Crimea region occasionally reach about 30-80%. Autumn plowing and disking between tree rows are important preventive control measures against the H. flava. Control measures after the mass appearance of adults include pesticide treatment twice in spring, during the balloon stage of bud development and immediately after blossoming.

Reference citations:

Arakelyan A.O. 1972. Hoplocampa flava in Armenia and its control. Biological Journal of Armenia (Erevan) 72 (2): 62-68. (In Russian)
Batiashvili I.D. 1959. Pests of continental and subtropical fruit crops. Tbilisi: Institut sel'skogo khozyaistva. 455 p. (In Russian)
Ermolenko V.M. 1984 a. Family Tenthredinidae. In: Kopaneva L.M., ed. Keys to harmful and useful insects and mites on the fruiters and berry crops in the USSR. Leningrad: Kolos. 288 p. (In Russian)
Ermolenko V.M. 1984 b. On the fauna of horntails and sawflies (Hymenoptera, Symphyta) of Crimea. In: Dolin V.G., Savchenko E.N., eds. Collection of scientific works. Taxonomy and zoogeography of insects. Kiev: Naukova Dumka. 47-56 p. (In Russian)
Gusev V.G., Ermolenko V.M., Svishchuk V.V., Shmigovskii K.A. 1962. The atlas of insect pests of Ukraine. Kiev: Radyans'ka Shkola. 224 p. (In Ukrainian)
Mirzoyan S.A. 1970. Sawflies and horntails - the pests of bush and forest plantations of Armenia. Collection of works of Armenian Institute of Plant Protection. V. 1. Erevan: Armenian Institute of Plant Protection. 95-118 p. (In Russian)
Nutt Ya.I. 1967. Hoplocampa flava in Estonia. In: Ermolaev A.K., ed. Proc. of Velikie Luki SKHI. Leningrad: Lenizdat. 194-199 p. (In Russian)
Savkovskii P.P. 1976. Atlas of the pests of fruit and berry plants. Kiev: Urozhai. 207 p. (In Russian)
Tryapitsyn V.A., Zhelokhovtsev A.N. 1981. Order Hymenoptera, Suborder Symphyta. In: Narchuk E.P., Tryapitsyn V.A., eds. Insects and mites - pests of agricultural plants. V. 4. Hymenoptera and Diptera. Leningrad: Nauka. 221 p. (In Russian)
Vasil'ev V.P., ed. 1973. Pests of agricultural crops and forest plantations. V. 1. Kiev: Urozhai. 496 p. (In Russian)
Zhelokhovtsev A.N. 1988. Order Hymenoptera. Suborder Symphyta (Chalastogastra).  Keys to insects of European part of the USSR. V. 3. Part. 6. Leningrad: Nauka. 288 p. (In Russian)

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