Arge berberidis Schrank, 1802

Arge berberidis

Confirmed as present in Britain in 2002, A. berberidis probably arrived on these shores around 2000. The adult is hard to distinguish from the other three black Arge species from images. Females have a characteristic pincer-shaped sawsheath when viewed from above. Males are identified by transverse striations on the tergites.

Overwinters in the ground as a pupa.


Status: Widespread

Distribution: England, Wales, Ireland

Flight period: Bi- or trivoltine, May to October

Plant associations: Berberis spp. (esp. thunbergii) and Mahonia spp.


Benson, R.B., 1952. Handbooks for the Identification of British Insects. Hymenoptera, Symphyta, Vol 6, Section 2(a-c), Royal Entomological Society, London

Halstead, A.J., 2004. Berberis sawfly, Arge berberidis Schrank (Hymenoptera: Argidae), a pest new to Britain. British Journal of Entomology and Natural History, 17(3), pp.131-135.

Liston A, Knight G, Sheppard D, Broad G, Livermore L (2014) Checklist of British and Irish Hymenoptera - Sawflies, ‘Symphyta’. Biodiversity Data Journal 2: e1168.