A large genus of around 220 species globally distributed across the holarctic and oriental regions. There are thought to be 52 species in Britain and 23 in Ireland (asterixed in the list below).

The current understanding of the genus Pristiphora is defined by their genetics. Morphologically, the genus has no single characteristic to define all of the species in the genus. However, the genus can for the most part be separated from other similar genera in the nematinae by a combination of the following features. In the forewing, the marginal cell cross-vein 2r-rs is, more often than not, absent. The apex of the costal vein C is usually swollen such that at the point that vein Rs+M meets vein R, cell c is only about as wide as vein R. In the hindwing, the anal vein 2A is complete forming an enclosed anal cell A that is petiolate apically. The tarsal claws are either simple or with a small inner tooth. In the females, the sawsheath often has pad-like concavities in the apicoventral surface and the tangium of the saw often has campaniform sensilla. In the male, there is seldom a procidentia (apical projection) on the posterior margin of the eighth tergite. In most species the valvispina of the penis valve is usually joined on the ventral margin.

Some of the Pristiphora species can be arranged in groups based on their genetics and/or their hostplant association.

The larvae feed on a broad range of trees and herbaceous plants.

Species list:

Group abietina - On Picea spp.(spruces)

Pristiphora abietina (Christ, 1791) *

Pristiphora compressa (Hartig, 1837)

Pristiphora decipiens (Enslin, 1916)

Pristiphora pseudodecipiens Beneš & Kristek, 1976

Pristiphora saxesenii (Hartig, 1837)

Group alpestris - On Betula spp. (birches)

Pristiphora alpestris (Konow, 1903)

Pristiphora pseudocoactula (Lindqvist, 1952)

Group carinata - On Betula spp. (birches) and Vaccinium spp. (bilberries)

Pristiphora albilabris (Boheman, 1852)

Pristiphora borea (Konow, 1904)

Pristiphora breadalbanensis (Cameron, 1882) *

Pristiphora carinata (Hartig, 1837)

Pristiphora coactula (Ruthe, 1859)

Pristiphora groenblomi (Lindqvist, 1952)

Pristiphora lativentris (Thomson, 1871)

Group depressa - On Acer spp. (maples)

Pristiphora depressa (Hartig, 1840)

Pristiphora subbifida (Thomson, 1871)

Pristiphora tetrica (Zaddach, 1883)

Group erichsonii - On Larix spp. (larches)

Pristiphora erichsonii (Hartig, 1837) *

Pristiphora glauca Benson, 1954

Pristiphora wesmaeli (Tischbein, 1853) *

Group laricis - On Larix spp. (larches)

Pristiphora friesei (Konow, 1904) *

Pristiphora laricis (Hartig, 1837)*

Group malaisei - On Potentilla fruticosa (Shrubby Cinquefoil)

Pristiphora malaisei (Lindqvist, 1952) =Pristicampus arcticus (Lindqvist, 1958)

Group micronematica - On Salix spp. (willows)

Pristiphora sermola Liston, 1993

Group nigella - On Picea spp. (spruces)

Pristiphora amphibola (Förster, 1854)

Pristiphora nigella (Förster, 1854) *

Group pallida - On Picea spp. (spruces)

Pristiphora subarctica (Forsslund, 1936)

Group pallidiventris - On herbaceous Rosaceae (Great Burnet, Meadowsweet, Wood Avens, Water Avens, Raspberry and Bramble)

Pristiphora pallidiventris (Fallén, 1808) = Pristiphora denudata Konow, 1902 *

Group retusa - On Prunus padus (Bird Cherry)

Pristiphora retusa (Thomson, 1871)

Group ruficornis 

Pristiphora aphantoneura (Förster, 1854)

Pristiphora appendiculata (Hartig, 1837) *

Pristiphora armata (Thomson, 1862) *

Pristiphora bifida (Hellén, 1948)

Pristiphora confusa Lindqvist, 1955

Pristiphora leucopus (Hellén, 1948)

Pristiphora luteipes Lindqvist, 1955 *

Pristiphora melanocarpa (Hartig, 1840) *

Pristiphora ruficornis (Olivier, 1811) *

Pristiphora staudingeri (Ruthe, 1859) *

Pristiphora subopaca Lindqvist, 1955 = Pristiphora coniceps Lindqvist, 1955

Group rufipes - On Aquilegia spp. (columbines) and Thalictrum spp. (meadow rues)

Pristiphora brevis (Hartig, 1837) *

Pristiphora rufipes Serville, 1823

Pristiphora thalictri (Kriechbaumer, 1884)

Ungrouped species

Pristiphora abbreviata (Hartig, 1837)

Pristiphora biscalis (Förster, 1854) *

Pristiphora cincta Newman, 1837 *

Pristiphora conjugata (Dahlbom, 1835)

Pristiphora geniculata (Hartig, 1840) *

Pristiphora insularis Rohwer, 1910 *

Pristiphora maesta (Zaddach, 1876)

Pristiphora mollis (Hartig, 1837) *

Pristiphora monogyniae (Hartig, 1840) *

Pristiphora punctifrons (Thomson, 1871) *

Pristiphora testacea (Jurine, 1807) *


Benes, K. and Krístek, J., 1976. A new species of the genus Pristiphora (Hymenoptera, Tenthredinidae) feeding on Norway spruce. Acta Entomolgocia Bohemoslovaca, 73(6).

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

Harman, D. M. 1974: Regeneration of foliage in European Larches, Larix decidua Mill., after attack by the Larch sawfly, Pristiphora erichsonii Htg., in Maryland. - Chesapeake Science 15(1): 45-49.

Heron, R. J. & Drouin, J. A. 1969: Methods of collecting, rearing and handling the Larch sawfly [Pristiphora erichsonii] for experimental studies. - Information Report, Forest Research Laboratory, Winnipeg, Manitoba (MS-X-15): iii+31 pp.

Huflejt, T. 2006: Descriptions of a new species and two previously unknown males of the genus Pristiphora Latreille (Hymenoptera, Tenthredinidae) from Poland. pp. 229-234. In: Blank, S. M.; Schmidt, S.; Taeger, A. (eds.) 2006, Recent Sawfly Research: Synthesis and Prospects. Goecke & Evers, Keltern

Jonsson, S.; Bergstrom, G.; Lanne, B. S. & Stensdotter, U. 1988: Defensive odor emission from larvae of two sawfly species, Pristiphora erichsonii and P. wesmaeli. - Journal of Chemical Ecology, Dordrecht 14(2): 713-721

Lejeune, R. R.; Fell, W. H.; Burbidge, D. P. 1955: The effect of flooding on development and survival of the larch sawfly Pristiphora erichsonii (Tenthredinidae). - Ecology 36(1): 63-70.

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

Liston, A. and Prous, M., 2020. Recent additions to the list of German sawflies (Hymenoptera, Symphyta). Deutsche Entomologische Zeitschrift, 67, p.127.

Muche, W. H. 1974: Die Nematinengattungen Pristiphora Latreille, Pachynematus Konow und Nematus Panzer (Hym., Tenthredinidae). - Deutsche entomologische Zeitschrift, Neue Folge, Berlin 21(1-3): 1-137

Nehemy, M. F.; Laroque, C. P. 2018: Tree-ring analysis of larch sawfly (Pristiphora erichsonii (Hartig)) defoliation events and hydrological growth suppression in a peatland. - Dendrochronologia 51: 1-9.

Prous, M.; Vikberg, V.; Liston, A.; Kramp, K. 2016: North-Western Palaearctic species of the Pristiphora ruficornis group (Hymenoptera, Tenthredinidae). - Journal of Hymenoptera Research 51: 1-54.

Prous, M., Kramp, K., Vikberg, V. and Liston, A., 2017. north-Western Palaearctic species of Pristiphora (hymenoptera, tenthredinidae). Journal of Hymenoptera Research, Vol. 59

Prous, M., Kramp, K., Vikberg, V. and Liston, A., 2018. Corrigenda: North-Western Palaearctic species of Pristiphora (Hymenoptera, Tenthredinidae). Journal of Hymenoptera Research 59: 1–190.

Rahoo, G. M. & Luff, M. L. 1988: Cannibalistic egg mortality in the small gooseberry sawfly, Pristiphora pallipes Lepeletier (Hymenoptera: Tenthredinidae). - Entomologist's Gazette, Faringdon 39(1): 83-84

Wagner, M. R.; Benjamin, D. M. 1981: Allelochemics and Nutritional Indices for Larch Sawfly Pristiphora erichsonii (Hartig): A Specialist Feeding on Larix spp. - Journal of Chemical Ecology, Dordrecht 7(1): 165-174.

Wong, H. R. 1975: The abietina group of Pristiphora (Hymenoptera: Tenthredinidae). - The Canadian Entomologist, Ottawa 107(4): 451-463