Family Pamphiliidae - The Spinner Sawflies

The Pamphiliidae are fast flying and bask in full sun. They are characterised by their broad, upwards directed (prognathous) head, which is widest at the clypeus. The clypeus itself is as wide as the face between the eyes and hides the labrum. The antennae have between 18 and 24 segments and are threadlike. The abdomen is flattened with the basal tergites having a well-defined lateral fold. The first and second tergites are divided longitudinally on the mid-line (cf. only the first tergite in Tenthredinidae). The mid and hind tibia have pre-apical spines. In females, the ovipositor is short and not usually visible when viewed from above.

Globally, the Pamphiliidae are restricted to the temperate and wooded areas of Eurasia and North America. There are around 200 species of which 50 occur in Europe. In Britain, there are 21 species in four genera with the majority falling in the genus Pamphilius.

Larvae feed singly, or in groups, in rolled leaves or silk webs. They lack abdominal legs and the thoracic legs are spindly. They feed mainly on tree foliage and pupate deep underground.


Species list:

Subfamily Cephalciinae Benson, 1945

Genus Acantholyda Costa, 1894

Acantholyda erythrocephala (Linnaeus, 1758)

Acantholyda posticalis (Matsumura, 1912)

Genus Cephalcia Panzer, 1803

Cephalcia lariciphila (Wachtl, 1898)

Subfamily Pamphiliinae Cameron, 1890

Genus Neurotoma Konow, 1897

Neurotoma mandibularis (Zaddach, 1866)

Neurotoma saltuum (Linnaeus, 1758)

Genus Pamphilius Latreille, 1802

Pamphilius albopictus (Thomson, 1871)

Pamphilius balteatus (Fallén, 1808)

Pamphilius betulae (Linnaeus, 1758)

Pamphilius fumipennis (Curtis, 1831)

Pamphilius gyllenhali (Dahlbom, 1835)

Pamphilius histrio Latreille, 1812

Pamphilius hortorum (Klug, 1808)

Pamphilius inanitus (Villers, 1789)

Pamphilius latifrons (Fallén, 1808)

Pamphilius marginatus (Audinet-Serville, 1823)

Pamphilius pallipes (Zetterstedt, 1838)

Pamphilius stramineipes (Hartig, 1837)

Pamphilius sylvarum (Stephens, 1835)

Pamphilius sylvaticus (Linnaeus, 1758)

Pamphilius vafer (Linnaeus, 1767)

Pamphilius varius (Serville, 1823)


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

Goulet, H., 1876. The genera and subgenera of the sawflies of Canada and Alaska: Hymenoptera: Symphyta. The Insects and Arachnids of Canada (Part 20). Agriculture Canada Publication.

Liston A, Knight G, Sheppard D, Broad G, Livermore L (2014) Checklist of British and Irish Hymenoptera - Sawflies, ‘Symphyta’. Biodiversity Data Journal 2: e1168.