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Elm zigzag sawfly latest Hudson Valley invasive species doing damage

Aug 08, 2023 12:33 pm

Phillip Pantuso reports in the Times Union that you may have heard about the invasive species Giant Hogweed, Spongy moths, and the Emerald Ash Borer wreaking havoc in the Hudson Valley. Now there's another, the elm zigzag sawfly. It comes from East Asia and feeds exclusively on the leaves of elm trees. The Department of Environmental Conservation says it was first sighted in St. Lawrence County in August 2022. But on Aug. 7 the DEC reported that this summer the pest has been found in Allegany, Ontario, Madison, Ulster, Schenectady, Albany, Saratoga, Warren, and Clinton counties. It is easy to see where it has been, as it leaves behind a unique zigzag line across the surface of a leaf. The DEC is asking anyone who spots the sawfly to report sightings to iMap Invasives, an online, GIS-based data management system that assists community scientists and environmental professionals working to protect natural resources from the threat of invasive species. Local scientists are studying everything they can about the sawfly, and are currently seeing two to five percent of leaves showing damage on trees it attacks. Read more about this story in the Times Union.

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