Sawflies are slender wasp-like insects with a shining black abdomen and yellow bands. They range in size from 10mm to 15mm long. Females tend to be larger than males and are easily distinguished by the presence of an serrated ovipositor at the end of their abdomen, which saws into plant stems to lay eggs, thus the name “sawfly”.
The adult wheat midge is about 1/2 the size of a mosquito with an orange body, conspicuous black eyes, three pairs of legs and wings. The females lay eggs on the awns and heads of wheat plants. The eggs hatch into larvae and crawl inside the floret to feed on the developing grain. The larvae are about the same size, shape and color as the anthers of the wheat floret.