Young Hibiscus Sawfly larvae feed on the undersides of leaves, so are easily overlooked. Older larvae feed on both the upper and lower leaves, leaving just the leaf veins, resulting in a lacy appearance.
The thick waisted adults are relatives of bees and wasps. They lay their eggs in the edges of leaves which hatch into tiny larvae. Sawfly larvae resemble caterpillars but have more than 5 prolegs without the tiny hooks at the end of the proleg. Caterpillars of often larger than sawflies with fleshy prolegs that have tiny hooks at their end. Multiple generations may occur in the Northeast.