Athalia circularis (Klug, 1815)

Athalia circularis

There is suspicion that this species 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, at most, the basal third. [Note that the similar Athalia longicollis is present on the near continent and the two can only be separated by the male genitalia.]
Larvae feed on a variety of herbacious perennials including ground ivy, plantains and speedwells and often in wet places.

Size: 4-6mm

Status: Common

Distribution: England, Scotland, Wales, Ireland

Flight period: May to October

Plant associations: Glechoma hederaceum, Lycopus spp., Plantago spp., Veronica spp. (ground ivy, gypsywort, plantains and speedwells)


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.

Palmer, D. and Palmer, J.P. 2015. Keys of species of Athalia in France and Italy, Flickr. [] Accessed 16Apr2019