The samples of Berberis I sent to the Royal Botanic Garden in Edinburgh (see 1st November post) arrived safely, and have been formally identified by an expert in such matters there, Lawrence Springate:
“They are a purple-leaved cultivar of Berberis thunbergii DC., a species native to warm temperate (southern) Japan, though hardy in most of Britain. Most if not all of the Berberis host specimens I have seen have been this species, though Andrew Halstead has reported it on B. vulgaris L. as well, a europaean and possibly native species.”
So, there we have it. The berberis bush on which the Berberis sawfly larvae in our garden are feeding is a species they particularly like to feed on in Britain.
Find out more about Berberis sawflies (including photos of eggs, larvae and adults) here