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.
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. https://doi.org/10.3897/BDJ.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 Natural England, unpublished