Arge metallica - Yellow-horned Fusehorn

Arge metallica is rare in Britain and Ireland. Some old museum records up to 1927 suggest a past low-level presence and there is a single record from Norfolk in 2014 at the time of review. This latter record could be interpreted either as indicating a continuing low-level presence or, alternatively, a recolonisation (Musgrove, 2022).  One of the dark species, Arge metallica has a bronze sheen. The flagellae are yellow but may be suffused with black in the males. The hind tibia is brownish-white with a white base.

Larvae feed gregariously on birch. Eggs are lain into the serrations of the leaf margin on young trees in shade.

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Size: 7 - 9mm

IUCN Status: Vulnerable
GB Rarity Status: Nationally Rare

Distribution: England, Ireland

Flight period: June

Plant associations: Betula spp. Birches (Benson, 1952).


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 Natural England, unpublished

Schedl, W.; Altenhofer, E. 2013: Zur Morphologie, Biologie und Verbreitung von Spinarge metallica (Klug 1834) in Österreich (Hymenoptera: Argidae). - Linzer biologische Beiträge, Linz 45(1): 663-669.