Family Xiphydriidae - Swordtail Sawflies

The Xiphydriidae are characterised by the following features. The antennae have at least 14 segments. The pronotum is arched both on the front and hind margins margins and there is a long neck (propleura) between the head and pronotum. The head is strongly domed. The mesonotum has a transverse groove.

Globally there are around 150 species in 27 genera. In Britain they are represented by the genus Xiphydria with three species.

The larvae bore the timber of branches of dead and ailing trees.

Species list:

Subfamily Xiphydriinae Leach, 1819

Genus Xiphydria Latreille, 1802

Xiphydria camelus (Linnaeus, 1758)

Xiphydria longicollis (Geoffroy, 1785)

Xiphydria prolongata (Geoffroy, 1785)


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

Chrystal, R. N. & Skinner, E. R. 1932: Studies in the biology of the woodwasp Xiphydria prolongata Geoffr. (dromedarius F.) and its parasite Thalessa curvipes Grav. - Scottish Forestry Journal 46: 36-51

Goulet, H., 1992. The Insects and Arachnids of Canada. Part 20. The genera and subgenera of the sawflies of Canada and Alaska. Hymenoptera: Symphyta. Agriculture Canada Research Branch, Canada Communications Group–Publishing, Ottawa

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

Shaw, M. R. & Liston, A. D. 1985: Xiphydria longicollis (Geoffroy) (Hymenoptera: Xiphydriidae) new to Britain. - Entomologist's Gazette, Faringdon 36: 233-235