• WordNet 3.6
    • n sawfly insect whose female has a saw-like ovipositor for inserting eggs into the leaf or stem tissue of a host plant
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Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
    • n Sawfly (Zoöl) Any one of numerous species of hymenopterous insects belonging to the family Tenthredinidæ. The female usually has an ovipositor containing a pair of sawlike organs with which she makes incisions in the leaves or stems of plants in which to lay the eggs. The larvæ resemble those of Lepidoptera.
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Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
    • n sawfly A hymenopterous insect of the family Tenthredinidæ, so called from the peculiar construction of the ovipositor (saw or terebra), with which they cut or pierce plants. Two plates of this instrument have serrate or toothed edges. The turnip saw-fly is Athalia centifolia; the gooseberry saw-fly, Nematus grossulariæ; the sweet-potato saw-fly, Schizocerus ebeneus; the wheat or corn saw-fly, Cephus pygmæus; the rose saw-fly, Monostegia (or Hylotoma) rosæ; the willow saw-fly, Nematus ventricosus. The pear-slug is the larva of Selandria cerasi. The wheat or corn saw-fly is exceedingly injurious to wheat and rye, the female depositing her eggs in the stalk, which the larva destroys. It is about half an inch long. The Scotch saw-fly is a member of the genus Lophyrus. See cuts under Hylotoma, Lyda, rose-slug, and Securifera.
    • n sawfly An American saw-fly, Schizocerus privatus, whose larvæ live on sweet-potato leaves.
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In literature:

There are a number of tussock moths, sawflies, beetles, etc., which feed on the leaves of nut trees.
"Northern Nut Growers Association Report of the Proceedings at the" by Various
Maple says she cannot get rid of the sawflies out of that room you pass through at the other end of the hall.
"A Thin Ghost and Others" by M. R. (Montague Rhodes) James
This bird also eats beetles, grasshoppers, sawflies, and spiders.
"Bird Day; How to prepare for it" by Charles Almanzo Babcock
Erucina: the caterpillar-like larvae of sawflies and the like.
"Explanation of Terms Used in Entomology" by John. B. Smith
The Slug-worm is so called from the similarity of the larva of this sawfly to a small black slug.
"The Book of Pears and Plums" by Edward Bartrum
There are several kinds of sawflies, and their destructive methods vary.
"Roses and Rose Growing" by Rose Georgina Kingsley
To this order belong the gallflies, the sawflies, the ichneumons, and, above all, the ants and bees.
"On the Origin and Metamorphoses of Insects" by Sir John Lubbock

In poetry:

There must have been a warning given once:
No tree, on pain of withering and sawfly,
To reach the slimmest of his snaky toes
Into this mounded sward and rumple it;
All trees stand back: taboo is on this soil. —
"Ryton Firs" by Lascelles Abercrombie

In news:

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