Athalia circularis - Ringed Tigress

Recorded widely across all of mainland Britain. There is suspicion that Athalia circularis maybe a complex of species, each with a narrower larval food plant range. The middle tibia maybe ringed with black apically but the fore tibia are always entirely yellow. The length of the inner tibial spur of the hind leg is greater than the length of the fourth tarsomere of that leg. Vein C of the forewing is yellow for no more than the basal third. [Note that the similar Athalia longifoliae is present on the near continent and the two can only be separated by the male genitalia.]

Larvae feed on a variety of herbaceous perennials including ground ivy, plantains and speedwells and often in wet places.

Jump to other Athalia species

Size: 4-6mm

GB IUCN Status: Least Concern
GB Rarity Status: None

Distribution: England, Scotland, Wales, Ireland

Flight period: May to October

Plant associations: Ajuga spp. (bugles), Capsella spp. (Shepherd’s-purses), Glechoma hederaceum (Ground-Ivy), Lycopus spp. (Gypsyworts), Melampyrum spp.(Cow-wheats), Plantago spp. (Plantains), Veronica beccabunga (Brooklime).


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.

Mol, A.W.M., 2009. Athalia longifoliae sp. rev., stat. nov., new for the Netherlands and Germany (Hymenoptera: Tenthredinidae). Nederlandse Faunistische Mededelingen, 31, pp.43-52.

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 Natural England, unpublished