Acantholyda erythrocephala (Linnaeus, 1758)

Acantholyda erythrocephala

Acantholyda erythrocephala, the red-headed pine sawfly, also called the pine false webworm, is an easy to recognise species being a glossy black insect with a blueish reflection and a striking red head. Females lay eggs in rows on the previous year's pine needles and the larvae spin silk tubes from which they feed. Once mature, the larvae fall to the ground and overwinter as a prepupa in the leaf litter.

Size: 10 - 12mm

Status: Widespread

Distribution: England, Scotland

Flight period: April to June

Plant associations: Pinus spp. (pines)

See other species in this genus


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.