I have about a square meter of Lysimachia punctata mostly fending for itself in a corner. This morning I discovered that a large number of caterpillars(?) has gnawed the leaves down to bare skeletons.

The offenders are about 2cm long with a blueish-grey and about 2cm long. The head is a light tan and they have no distinct markings on the body. They were very active in the morning, and now that the heat’s up and the sun hits the plants directly, they curl up under the remaining leaves (not easy, considering how much they have munched already).

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Sounds like sawfly larvae... if they look like the image lower down in this link http://www.robsplants.com/critters/crawlers.php that's what they are. You can use an insecticide spray, but if you don't manage to spray the larvae themselves, it won't do much. The only other option is to pick 'em off and kill them by hand.

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  • Darn, yes, that’s them. Hey, next time let me at least finish my question ;-) – Stephie Jun 9 '18 at 10:55
  • Ha ha, sorry... it just sounded so like a sawfly! and you did describe the coloration well... – Bamboo Jun 9 '18 at 10:56
  • I’m actually tempted to let them be - if the host plant bounces back, fine, if not, I won’t be devastated. The came with the house and I just never got around to decide what I really want to do with that corner... – Stephie Jun 9 '18 at 11:11
  • Well, why not leave them be then, sounds like a plan, but you'll probably find the lysimachia regrow off the roots later on this year, after the sawfly has gone. I think this sawfly also likes delphiniums though, so if you have any of those, check 'em over – Bamboo Jun 9 '18 at 11:50
  • No delphiniums, so no problem there. – Stephie Jun 9 '18 at 12:00

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