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Species Page

leafblister sawfly

Phylacteophaga froggatti
This information is part of a full datasheet available in the Crop Protection Compendium (CPC). Find out more information on how to access the CPC.
©CAB International. Published under a CC-BY-NC-SA 4.0 licence.


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Host plants / species affected

Main hosts

show all species affected
Corymbia citriodora (lemon-scented gum)
Corymbia ficifolia (red flowering gum)
Corymbia maculata (spotted gum)
Eucalyptus botryoides (southern mahogany)
Eucalyptus brookerana
Eucalyptus calophylla
Eucalyptus camaldulensis (red gum)
Eucalyptus cinerea
Eucalyptus cladocalyx (sugar gum)
Eucalyptus crenulata
Eucalyptus deanei
Eucalyptus delegatensis (alpine ash)
Eucalyptus diversicolor
Eucalyptus dunnii (Dunn's white gum)
Eucalyptus fastigata (brown-barrel (USA))
Eucalyptus globulus (Tasmanian blue gum)
Eucalyptus gomphocephala (tuart)
Eucalyptus grandis (saligna gum)
Eucalyptus kitsoniana
Eucalyptus lehmannii (bushy yate)
Eucalyptus leucoxylon
Eucalyptus macarthurii (Camden woollybutt)
Eucalyptus macrocarpa
Eucalyptus maidenii (Maiden's gum)
Eucalyptus mannifera
Eucalyptus marginata (jarrah)
Eucalyptus melliodora
Eucalyptus microcorys (Tallowwood)
Eucalyptus muellerana
Eucalyptus nicholii (willow-leaved peppermint)
Eucalyptus nitens (shining gum)
Eucalyptus ovata (swamp gum (Australia))
Eucalyptus paniculata (grey ironbark)
Eucalyptus perriniana
Eucalyptus pilularis (blackbutt)
Eucalyptus polyanthemos (silver-dollar gum)
Eucalyptus radiata
Eucalyptus regnans (mountain ash)
Eucalyptus resinifera (red mahogany)
Eucalyptus robusta (swamp mahogany)
Eucalyptus rudis
Eucalyptus saligna (Sydney blue gum)
Eucalyptus sideroxylon (black ironbark)
Eucalyptus tereticornis (forest red gum)
Eucalyptus viminalis (ribbon eucalyptus)

List of symptoms / signs

Leaves - abnormal leaf fall
Leaves - abnormal leaf fall
Leaves - internal feeding
Leaves - internal feeding
Leaves - necrotic areas
Leaves - necrotic areas
Whole plant - discoloration
Whole plant - discoloration
Whole plant - plant dead; dieback
Whole plant - plant dead; dieback


The larvae of this sawfly mine inside the leaves of the host plant. The structure of the lower leaf surface remains intact but the upper leaf cells are eaten, leaving just a thin, papery cuticle covering the mine. Individual mines may be 500 mm² in area and several mines may coalesce, destroying much of the leaf. Affected leaves have a brown 'blistered' appearance and may be shed prematurely. Damage is most common on foliage up to 3 m above the ground and small trees can be totally defoliated. In sheltered areas, the damage to large trees can extend high into the canopy (Kay, 1986). At a distance, heavily infested trees look like they have herbicide-spray damage.

Prevention and control

In nurseries, or for the protection of ornamentals, a foliar spray of insecticide can be used to control the larvae but because some of the sprays used are not very effective against eggs and pupae repeat applications are necessary (Kay, 1986).

Classic biological control using an introduced parasitoid has been very successful in New Zealand (Withers, 2001).


In south-eastern Australia heavy infestations of P. froggatti can cause substantial loss of photosynthetic area of the host and this can result in stunted growth or even the death of small trees. This damage is of most concern where large numbers of saplings exist in a confined area such as eucalypt plantations, ornamental eucalypts in parks and gardens and potted trees in outside nurseries (Thumlert and Austin, 1994). Thumlert and Austin (1994) also stated that P. froggatti is rated as one of the most important pests in eucalypt woodlots in south-eastern Australia.

In Western Australia, P. froggatti is considered to be one of the more serious insect pests in the Eucalyptus globulus plantation industry (Abbott, 1993; Loch and Floyd, 2001). Outbreaks are quite common in some areas in Western Australia.

Prior to the introduction of Bracon phylacteophagus into New Zealand, it was predicted that P. froggatti could severely damage commercially important species of Eucalyptus. Consequently this could have serious consequences for the establishment of eucalypt plantations, particularly for those in warm, dry areas that favour insect survival and where newly planted trees may already be under stress (Nuttall, 1985; Kay, 1986).