Sawfly – Dolerus nitens
Order Hymenoptera – Ants, Bees, Wasps and Sawflies
Symphyta – Sawflies, Horntails, and Wood Wasps / Family Tenthredinidae
Females of this subfamily will often dine on smaller bugs in search of protein for building their eggs.
This species of sawfly is one of the earliest spring fliers (photos taken April 12-13). I found numerous copies amongst the (dormant) grasses and low vegetation of overgrown, fallow farm fields. Their flight is slow and clumsy, resembling that of a common firefly. Larvae feed on various grasses.
Sawflies get their name from the saw-like nature of their ovipositor. (It’s the brown thing sticking out of her abdomen.)
This female sawfly is using her ovipositor to slit open blades of grass wherein she lays her eggs.
It took me many attempts before I was able to capture this process.
It is virtually impossible to tell what is going on while these creatures are laying eggs, the structures involved are so small.
I think the amber-colored object is the egg being passed into the slit in the grass stem.
My camera clock indicates this process from start to finish took a little under 3 minutes.
I consider myself extremely luck to have captured this event. With a Kodak point-and-shoot camera no less!