Abia sericea is similar to Abia candens and more common. The antennae in both sexes are usually all yellow and never with segment three bicolorous. In Abia candens the antennae are dark on the apical and basal segments with middle segments yellow.
Larvae feed on members of the Dipsacaceae family which includes scabious. In experiments, the larvae have been shown to feed readily on cut-leaved teasel (Dipsacus laciniatus) which occurs in the British Isles as a bird seed or garden escape. Abia sericea larvae have a row of black dots on the dorsal midline.
Size: approx. 10mm
Distribution: England, Scotland, Wales, Ireland
Flight period: May to August
Plant associations: Dipsacaceae including...
Succisa pratensis (Devil's-bit Scabious) (1)
Knautia arvensis (Field Scabious) (1)
Dipsacus laciniatus (Cut-leaved Teasel) (3)
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. 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]
3. Harizanova, V.; Stoeva, A.; Rector, B. G. 2012: Host range testing and biology of Abia sericea (Cimbicidae), a candidate for biological control of invasive teasels (Dipsacus spp.) in North America. - Journal of Hymenoptera Research, Washington 28: 1-11
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