Dolerus niger - Black Griever

Recorded widely across all of mainland Britain, and can be abundant in arable areas (Musgrove, 2023).

A large, entirely black species. In the female, the sawsheath narrows to a point and the setae viewed from above are almost straight. The tergites are all dulled by surface sculpture such that tergite 1 is punctured throughout. In the male, tergite 8 has a wide (one third of the apical margin) triangular, glabrous, unpunctured area. Adults can be seen flying around trees at height at the edges of fields.

Dolerus niger larvae feed on grasses including cereals.

Jump to other Dolerus species

Size: Usually over 10mm

GB IUCN Status: Least Concern
GB Rarity Status: None

Distribution: England, Scotland, Wales, Ireland

Flight period: May to June

Plant associations: Gramineae (grasses including wheat)


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. 2023. A review of the status of sawflies of Great Britain - Phase 2: The Athaliidae and the Tenthredinidae (excluding Nematinae). Natural England, unpublished