Empria alector - Early Dawn-treader

Recorded widely across much of mainland Britain. Assessments against all criteria give no reason to consider it threatened (Musgrove, 2023).

A black sawfly within the Empria longicornis group. Pairs of white patches on tergites 2 to 5 and a small fleck on each side of tergite 6. White on the labrum, pronotal margin, inner face of front and middle tibia and tarsus, and extreme apex of femora. Also white on the hind tibia basally. Hind ocelli closer together than their distance from the hind margin of the head. The ratio of the length of the flagellum, along with genitalia characteristics, are important for identification in this group. See Prous et al, 2011. In the female, the serrulae are quite flat and evenly sized and the lancet is slender. 

Empria alector larvae feed on meadowsweet.

Jump to other Empria species

Size: 5.5 - 7mm

GB IUCN Status: Least Concern
GB Rarity Status: None

Distribution: England, Scotland, Wales, Ireland

Flight period: May to June

Plant associations: Filipendula ulmaria (meadowsweet)


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 Natural England, unpublished

Prous, Marko & Heidemaa, Mikk & Soon, Villu. (2011). Empria longicornis species group: Taxonomic revision with notes on phylogeny and ecology (Hymenoptera, Tenthredinidae). Zootaxa. 2756. 1-39. 10.11646/zootaxa.2756.1.1.