Bugging Me

Bugging Me

So I’m actually really tolerant of most invertebrates. There’s only one that I really hate and that’s the mosquito. Nothing could ever persuade me to photograph a mosquito!

There are, however, a few that just creep me out! Here are two of them, the Rose Sawfly larvae and the Flesh Fly.

We’ve got a dreadful infestation of Sawfly in our communal gardens and they’re wrecking my beautiful roses. They’ve been sprayed several times with no discernible effect. I’ve been out squishing larvae and adults everyday, but still they multiply! Help!

Flesh Fly

I can stand to look at the adult Flesh Fly, they’re really quite pretty, the larvae though, gross!

16 comments on “Bugging Me

  1. Wow, for something you dislike you have caught some wonderful photos. That first one is stunning. You reminded me of a sweet little green caterpillar I found on my lettuce at lunchtime. I had picked the lettuce from my garden and taken it to work for lunch, so I rescued the caterpillar and popped it out in the garden at work. I was left wondering if that counted as a long haul flight for a caterpillar….10 miles in a Tupperware box πŸ™‚

    • Yes, they look a lot like the Large White caterpillar but slightly slimy. I’m grossed out by my own post! I love caterpillars and am intrigued by a lot of other larvae but when your rose bush is a quivering mass of these nasties it kinda turns the stomach.

      I’m hoping someone will have suggestions on how else I can rid the roses of the pests!

      How nice that you have a garden at work πŸ™‚ Glad you spotted the stowaway before it became your lunch!!!

  2. I don’t think it’s the rose sawfly larvae that is nibbling all my plants this year, but I keep finding tiny green caterpillars which have completely stripped leaves off a lot of plants and drilled into rosebuds 😦 Haven’t found out what they are, and unless I pluck them off nothing seems to kill them)

  3. Forgot to say how good your photos are and now I have taken a closer look at the first one I see you have some tiny larvae under the leaf which look like mine so maybe that is what they are!

    • It’s definitely the Rose Sawfly! It’s the only bug that does this to roses. The adult fly has a yellow body and lays the eggs inside the softer new stems of the rose. The stem them splits open and the tiny larvae all head for the leaf edges. You’ll probably see leaves completely covered around the edges with tiny wriggling larvae only a few millimetres in length to start with and getting as big as 3cm or so. They’ve completely stripped large parts of our rose bushes so we’ve got to cut them right back! The link in my post has suggested pesticides or you can try picking all the larvae off. Good luck!

  4. Nice images, Sarah!

    Did you know that flesh-flies differ from most other flies in that they are ovoviviparous, opportunistically depositing hatched or hatching maggots, instead of eggs, on carrion, dung, decaying material, or in open wounds of mammals, hence their common name.

    • Hi Mike, yes I did actually know that about the Flesh Fly though I’ve never actually witnessed one laying maggots! I have chronic illness but before I became sick I’d hoped to go into veterinary medicine. I worked with a number of vets as a sort of vet nurse/assistant with both small and large animals so I got to see quite a lot of flystrike! I spent several hours removing maggots from a rabbit that hadn’t been looked after properly. It was disgusting! The smell was even worse than a cat abscess. I’ve had a bit of problem with maggots ever since that episode! The flies themselves have great markings and lovely red eyes.

  5. I don’t like any maggots, really make my skin crawl, and I hate all flies – well except bees of course πŸ™‚
    Still you managed to make the larvae and flesh fly look quite picturesque! Lol

    • Having dealt with flystrike on a rabbit at the vets years ago, the maggots make me feel a bit queasy! As you can see some larvae look a lot more like a nice caterpillar. Bees aren’t flies, they’re flying insects. Hoverflies are in their own category too. Lots of flies have amazing eyes! The blue and green bottle flies are quite pretty πŸ™‚ I don’t much like horse flies as their bite is really painful. Of course some maggots are really useful in medicine as they can be packed into a rotten wound and they’ll eat away the dead and decaying flesh leaving behind healthy tissue that can then start the healing process πŸ™‚

    • Thanks Amy. When I’m doing macro photography like this I’m using the camera on full manual including manual focussing so I can get a sharp image. It’s usually best to use a tripod or monopod to eliminate camera shake though I didn’t with these photos. I do love the detail in the little things that we often wouldn’t notice πŸ™‚

      • On full manual! That’s impressive, Sarah πŸ™‚ I appreciate you taking time to the details that we often wouldn’t notice.

      • Having an SLR or DSLR and being in control of the settings on your camera so you know you’re going to get the image you really want is so much more satisfying! I started with photography at art college studying fine art, working with my dads old SLR and using film which we processed and developed ourselves. I keep hold of all the same principals of photography within my digital work. I try to encourage everyone with a DSLR to turn to manual and experiment πŸ™‚

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