Heterarthrus wuestneii

Previously considered conspecific with Heterarthrus fiora and so historical information is largely lacking, but H. wuestneii has proved to occur widely in England north to Yorkshire, as well as more locally in eastern Wales; no Scottish records to date. Added to the British list in 1987.

One of three Heterarthrus species feeding on Acer species; fiora (formerly misidentified as aceris), cuneifrons and wuestneii

This species cannot reliably be distinguished from Heterarthrus cuneifrons from the insect morphology. In ecological terms, cuneifrons oviposits into the interior of the leaf blade, whereas wuestneii lays in the leaf margin. Also, cuneifrons feeds on sycamore in Britain, whereas wuestneii feeds on field maple.

Larvae mine the leaves of field maple starting at the edge of the leaf. A circular cocoon is made from the upper leaf epidermis. This cocoon separates from the leaf prior to the autumn leaf drop leaving a neat hole visible in the leaf. The cocoon works its way into the litter layer.

Jump to other species of Heterarthrus

Size: 3.5 - 4.5mm

GB IUCN Status: Least Concern
GB Rarity Status: None

Distribution: England, Wales

Flight period: Univoltine, May to June

Plant associations: Acer campestre (field maple)


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

Liston, A., Mutanen, M. and Viitasaari, M., 2019. On the taxonomy of Heterarthrus (Hymenoptera, Tenthredinidae), with a review of the West Palaearctic species. Journal of Hymenoptera Research, 72, p.83.

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 Natural England, unpublished