Gilpinia pallida - Pale Pine Combhorn

The majority of records relate to Caledonian pinewoods with over half collected in Speyside in 1945 and 1946. There are four remaining English records that all require verification against the risk of confusion with other Gilpinia species. There does seem to have been a 90% decline in records in recent years, with no confirmed records since 1998. This suggests a decline of over 90% in the last ten years, the reasons for which are not understood, leading to an assessment of Critically Endangered. Having said this, there has not been detailed survey effort devoted to looking for the species, and arguably a status of Data Deficient might be more appropriate (Musgrove, 2022).

The female's inner apical spur of the hind tibia is shaped like a scale. Apex of the sawsheath in dorsal view is much broader than the apical breadth of the hind tibia. The underside of the thorax is pale and the underside of the abdomen at most brownish along the margins of the sternites. The head lacks a dark band reaching from eye to eye.

The male pronotum is at most narrowly margined with yellow and the clypeus and labrum are yellow or brownish.

Larvae feed gregariously on pines, especially Scots pine.

Jump to other Diprionidae genera and species

Size: 6 - 8mm

GB IUCN Status: Critically Endangered

GB Rarity Status: Nationally Rare

Distribution: England?, Scotland

Flight period: May to July

Plant associations: Pinus spp., especially sylvestris (Scots Pine)


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.

Musgrove, A.J. 2022. A review of the status of sawflies of Great Britain - Phase 1: families other than Tenthredinidae. Natural England, unpublished