Abia aenea (Klug, 1820)

Abia aenea

Abia aenea is very similar to the more frequently encountered Abia lonicerae. Both species share the same habitat and foodplants, but the larvae are apparently different in appearance. Adults cannot usually be determined from images but specimens can be determined by antennal shape and the microsculpture of the mesepisternum. The female of this species has more slender antennae, with the fourth antennomere (the one after the long segment) being about three times as long as broad, (viewed side on) and both sexes have dense microsculpture between the punctures on the mesepisternum.

Larvae feed on honeysuckles and other members of the Caprifoliaceae. Larvae of this species have been reared from eggs deposited on Leycesteria formosa in a garden. They are very similar in appearance to Abia lonicerae larvae but lack a black mark posterior to the spiracle (postspiracular lobe) on each abdominal segment. This mark is present in Abia lonicerae. Note: do not confuse with the black mark present on the suprapedal lobe at the top of each abdominal leg which is present in both species.

Jump to other Cimbicidae

Size: approx. 12mm

Status: unknown

Distribution: England

Flight period: April to June

Plant associations: Lonicera spp., Symphoricarpos spp. and Leycesteria spp. (honeysuckles, snowberry and pheasantberry)


Benson, R.B., 1952. Handbooks for the Identification of British Insects. Hymenoptera, Symphyta, Vol 6, Section 2(a-c), Royal Entomological Society, London

Chevin, H., 1998. Biologie et description de la larve de Zaraea lonicerae (L.)(Hymenoptera, Cimbicidae). Cahiers des naturalistes, 54(1), pp.1-4.

Hackston, M (2014) Family Cimbicidae: Key to the British species. https://sites.google.com/site/mikesinsectkeyshymenoptera/Home/hymenoptera/symphyta/superfamily-tenthredinoidea/family-cimbicidae [Accessed 25Apr2019]

Liston A, Knight G, Sheppard D, Broad G, Livermore L (2014) Checklist of British and Irish Hymenoptera - Sawflies, ‘Symphyta’. Biodiversity Data Journal 2: e1168. https://doi.org/10.3897/BDJ.2.e1168

Liston, A.D., Savina, H., Nagy, Z.T., Sonet, G. and Boeve, J.L., 2014. Taxonomy, phylogeny and host plants of some Abia sawflies (Hymenoptera, Cimbicidae). Zootaxa, 3821(1), pp.125-132.

Taeger, A., 1998. Bestimmungsschlüssel der Keulhornblattwespen Deutschlands (Hymenoptera: Cimbicidae). Pflanzenwespen Deutschlands (Hymenoptera, Symphyta). Kommentierte Bestandsaufnahme. Goecke & Evers, Keltern, pp.193-205.