Allantus basalis - Caledonian Spindler

A rarely-recorded species, with the majority of the 12 records from the Highlands (Speyside, Deeside, Sutherland) but also recorded from Cumbria. An isolated record from the New Forest in 1907 requires confirmation. There have only been three recent records, between 2006 and 2008 at time of writing (Musgrove, 2023). Allantus basalis is a species with a northerly distribution in Britain. The British subspecies Allantus basalis caledonicus may in fact be a separate species from Allantus basalis basalis. Both forms have been found in Scotland.

The abdomen is black with a pale off-white to yellow girdle on the tergites. The hind femora are black. The labrum, palps and front trochanters are also yelowish-white. Coxae are for the most part black. In subsp. caledonicus, the apices of the hind tibia and tarsus are reddish-brown and in subsp. basalis they are black.

Larvae feed on roses and Lady's-mantle.

Jump to other Allantus species

Size: 7 - 10mm

GB IUCN Status: Endangered
GB Rarity Status: Nationally Rare

Distribution: England, Scotland

Flight period: June to July

Plant associations: Rosa spp. (roses), Alchemilla spp. (Lady’s-mantles).


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.

Musgrove, A.J. 2023. A review of the status of sawflies of Great Britain - Phase 2: The Athaliidae and the Tenthredinidae (excluding Nematinae). Natural England, unpublished