Empria liturata - Marked Dawn-treader

Thought to be widespread across much of mainland Britain, although records are difficult to assess precisely given inconsistencies in identification keys (Musgrove, 2023).

A black sawfly with pairs of white patches on tergites 2 to 5. Claws simple or sometimes with a tiny inner tooth. Antennal segment 8 is less than 3 times as long as broad. Front of clypeus only shallowly incised and with the outer teeth rounded apically. Tegulae usually black. Frontal furrow of the head reaches from ocelli to the antennae.

Note that in Benson's key, he states that Empria liturata male genitalia is as per tridens. However, this is incorrect (Prous, M. pers. comms.).

Empria liturata larvae feed on Meadowsweet, strawberries and avens.

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, Fragaria spp., and Geum spp. (strawberries and avens)


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 Natural England, unpublished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.