Dolerus schmidti - Schmidt's Griever

Benson (1952) treated liogaster and schmidti as a single species. They were split by Heidemaa (2004), with the characters used to separate the two species being very subtle, although it was also suggested that schmidti flies somewhat earlier than liogaster on average. It is likely that the majority of schmidti specimens encountered to date would have been identified as liogaster. Confirmed records are few to date but are known from both lowland England and upland Scotland. It should be noted that the combined records of this species pair suggest a decline (Musgrove, 2023).

A black bodied insect. Both sexes have entirely red hind femora with tibiae that are almost, or entirely, black. In the similar Dolerus gonager and puncticollis, the red occurs towards the apex of the femora and part of the tibia. Puncturation of the thorax and the sawsheath are very similar to D. puncticollis. This species cannot easily be distinguished from Dolerus liogaster with which it was previously confused. Phenology and genitalia are determining factors.

Associated with woodland. Larvae feed on grasses.

Jump to other Dolerus species

Size: 8 - 9mm

GB IUCN Status: Data Deficient
GB Rarity Status: Unclear

Distribution: England, Scotland

Flight period: April to July (peaking mid to late May)

Plant associations: Gramineae (grasses)


Benson, R.B., 1952. Handbooks for the Identification of British Insects. Hymenoptera, Symphyta, Vol 6, Section 2(a-c), Royal Entomological Society, London

Heidemaa, M. & Saarma, U. 2005: Phylogenetic relationships in Dolerus gibbosus species group and Dolerus varispinus complex (Hymenoptera: Tenthredinidae) as inferred from molecular and morphological data, with revisory notes on D. varispinus complex. Unpublished manuscript

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 Natural England, unpublished