Abia lonicerae (Linnaeus, 1758)

Abia lonicerae

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 surface of the mesonotum. The female of lonicerae has more bulbous antennae (viewed side on) and both sexes lack dense microsculpture between the punctures on the lateral faces of the mesonotum making the surface much more reflective.
Larvae feed on honeysuckles and other members of the Caprifoliaceae.

Size: approx. 12mm

Status: common

Distribution: England

Flight period: March to June

Plant associations: Lonicera spp., Symphoricarpos spp. and Leycestria 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

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

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]