Abia lonicerae is very similar to Abia aenea. 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 lonicerae has more bulbous antennae, with the fourth antennomere being only about twice as long as its widest point, (viewed side on) and both sexes lack dense microsculpture between the punctures on the mesepisternum making the surface much more reflective.
Larvae feed on honeysuckles and other members of the Caprifoliaceae. They are very similar in appearance to Abia aenea larvae but have a black mark posterior to the spiracle (postspiracular lobe) on each abdominal segment. This mark is absent in Abia aenea. 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.
Size: approx. 12mm
Flight period: March to June
Plant associations: Caprifoliaceae including...
Lonicera spp. (honeysuckles) (1)
Symphoricarpos spp. (snowberry) (1)
1. Benson, R.B., 1952. Handbooks for the Identification of British Insects. Hymenoptera, Symphyta, Vol 6, Section 2(a-c), Royal Entomological Society, London
2. Chevin, H., 1998. Biologie et description de la larve de Zaraea lonicerae (L.)(Hymenoptera, Cimbicidae). Cahiers des naturalistes, 54(1), pp.1-4.
3. 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]
4. 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
5. 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.
6. Taeger, A., 1998. Bestimmungsschlüssel der Keulhornblattwespen Deutschlands (Hymenoptera: Cimbicidae). Pflanzenwespen Deutschlands (Hymenoptera, Symphyta). Kommentierte Bestandsaufnahme. Goecke & Evers, Keltern, pp.193-205.