Pine sawfly?

Hi, I am emailing from Houston, TX. Recently my neighbor discovered hundreds of caterpillar like insect larvae on his pine tree. They are about 1/2 inch in length, yellow-ish with black dots on their back. There seem to be a few leg-like structures near the head. I did my google search and am leaning towards 'pine sawfly larvae' as the closest match. The tree is deteriorating. It's losing its needles, and some branches are completely free of needles. He treated the tree with a spray insecticide yesterday (sorry, don't know which one). My questions, is it likely to observe pine sawfly larvae in November in Southern Texas? I am afraid I miss-identified the problem. Is there anything else we can do, in particular to prevent the spreading of the insect from one tree to the next (which, in this case, would be mine....). Thanks, Tim.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Can't help you directly, but Texas has an *excellent* extension service. Submit a sample of the larvae for id. Talk to Harris Co. Extension to find out how: http://harris-tx.tamu.edu / http://insects.tamu.edu/extension /
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com wrote:

each year. Adult females begin to lay eggs in slits cut in the needles during late March. The eggs hatch in 10-21 days, and the larvae feed for about five weeks. When mature the larvae usually crawl to the ground and spin a cocoon in the loose litter at the base of the tree. The peak adult emergence occurs in late summer. Larvae from this late summer generation are responsible for most of the damage which, although never directly responsible for mortality, may predispose the trees to attack by other insects.
Natural control factors generally bring outbreak populations under control after one season. As noted, sanitation under the stems through out the summer will reduce or destroy the population.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
D. Staples wrote:

What does that mean, sanitation under the stems? Keep clear of pine needles under the tree?
Kate
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
kate wrote:

debris, or if your into nasty garden chemicals poison the debris, and it can reduce the populations from generation to generation.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
If they are caterpillers BT will get them and it is safe to use.
From Mel & Donnie in Bluebird Valley
http://community.webtv.net/MelKelly/TheKids
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

That's common and natural on a maturing pine tree. Pines in our area have been shedding needles for over a month. That's not a problem. As trees mature such as pines, often, some branches cannot manufacture enough food for the branch and the branch becomes symplastless, sheds its needles and is then shed. Shedding woody and non-woody parts is common and good for the survival of the tree. Very common and natural. We do not spray anything on the pines we care for.
--
Sincerely,
John A. Keslick, Jr.
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Also just because an organism injures a tree does not mean the organism is bad and requires to be killed. E.g, http://www.treedictionary.com/DICT2003/HTMLFILES/ants-cavities.html
--
Sincerely,
John A. Keslick, Jr.
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

HomeOwnersHub.com is a website for homeowners and building and maintenance pros. It is not affiliated with any of the manufacturers or service providers discussed here. All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.