Abia lonicerae (Linnaeus, 1758)

Abia lonicerae

Abia lonicerae is very similar to the less frequently encountered 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 mesosternum. The female of lonicerae has more bulbous antennae, about twice as long as broad, (viewed side on) and both sexes lack dense microsculpture between the punctures on the mesosternum 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.

Jump to other Cimbicidae

Size: approx. 12mm

Status: common

Distribution: England

Flight period: March to June

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

References:

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.