Aproceros leucopoda - Zigzag Elm Fusehorn

This Asiatic species was first confirmed as present in Britain in 2017. However, it is thought that Aproceros leucopoda has been present for some time before this. It is multi-generational and able to increase in number rapidly. Only females are known. Adults are black with pale legs and the membranes between sclerites appears greenish. Head shape changes between first spring generations and subsequent generations. It is thought that this is due to the muscle requirements needed to break the winter cocoon compared to the more flimsy summer cocoons.

Larvae feed on most elms and the small green larvae carve out a characteristic zig-zag channel between the leaf veins as it feeds. This pattern breaks down as the larvae matures and the leaves become skeletonised in appearance. Golden cocoons can be found on the underside of leaves, though autumn generations pupate in the ground.

Jump to other Argidae

Size: 5 - 6mm

IUCN Status: Least Concern
GB Rarity Status: None

Distribution: England, Wales

Flight period: Multivoltine, April to October

Plant associations: Ulmus spp. Elms, including Ulmus glabra, Ulmus laevis, Ulmus minor and cultivated species such as Ulmus pumila var. arborea (Blank et al, 2010).


Blank, S. M. 2010: Ostasiatischer Ulmen-Schädling breitet sich in Europa aus: Die Zickzack-Blattwespe Aproceros leucopoda (Argidae). - Beiträge der Hymenopterologen-Tagung in Stuttgart, Stuttgart pp.28-30.

Blank, S.M., Hara, H., Mikulas, J., Csoka, G., Ciornei, C., Constantineanu, R., Constantineanu, I., Roller, L., Altenhofer, E., Huflejt, T. and Vetek, G., 2010. Aproceros leucopoda (Hymenoptera: Argidae): An East Asian pest of elms (Ulmus spp.) invading Europe. European Journal of Entomology, 107(3).

Blank, S.M., Köhler, T., Pfannenstill, T., Neuenfeldt, N., Zimmer, B., Jansen, E., Taeger, A. and Liston, A.D., 2014. Zig-zagging across Central Europe: recent range extension, dispersal speed and larval hosts of Aproceros leucopoda (Hymenoptera, Argidae) in Germany. Journal of Hymenoptera Research, 41, p.57.

Boevé, J.L., 2013. First record in Belgium of the invasive sawfly Aproceros leucopoda (Hymenoptera: Argidae) and some related ecological data. Bulletin de la Société royale belge d’Entomologie, 149, pp.217-221.

Kraus, M.; Liston, A. D.; Taeger, A. 2012: Die invasive Zick-Zack-Ulmenblattwespe Aproceros leucopoda Takeuchi, 1939 (Hym., Argidae) in Deutschland. - DGaaE-Nachrichten, Halle 25[2011](3): 117-119.

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

Musgrove, A.J. 2022. A review of the status of sawflies of Great Britain - Phase 1: families other than Tenthredinidae. Natural England, unpublished

Yu, G.-Y.; Zhang, Z.-H.; Wang, H. 2011: Identification and bionomics of the sawfly Aproceros leucopoda. - Chinese Journal of Applied Entomology 48(3): 664-668.

Vétek, G., Csávás, K., Fail, J. and Ladányi, M., 2022. Host plant range of Aproceros leucopoda is limited within Ulmaceae. Agricultural and Forest Entomology, 24(1), pp.1-7.

Zandigiacomo, P.; Cargnus, E.; Villani, A. 2011: First record of the invasive sawfly Aproceros leucopoda infesting elms in Italy. - Bulletin of Insectology, Bologna 64(1): 145-149.