Differentiating Abia sericea and A. candens larvae !

During the course of wetland surveys in Wicklow and Kildare, and the NPWS Marsh Fritillary Survey of the Irish midlands, numerous sites were located where Sawfly larvae of the genus Abia were discovered feeding on Succisa pratensis. Two disticnt species were found which can be differentaited in their larval stage. 

Abia sericea

Larval features include a row of black dots along the dorsal midline of the larva, and a series of heart shaped black lateral markings. 

Abia sericea web

Abia candens

Larva similar to the above species, but the dorsal midline black dots are absent, and the lateral black dots are tear shaped. 

Abia candens web

© Peter Foss 2012