Macrophya alboannulata - Elder Strider, Elder Sawfly

This species was split from albicincta by Chevin (1975) and so its true early status is not entirely clear. The number of older records is higher than anticipated, and may suggest that some older albicincta records have been uncritically (or erroneously) moved to this taxon. However, most recent records under the name alboannulata would seem to be named correctly. Liston (1983) noted that it seemed to be found mostly in southern Britain, but there are two recent Scottish records (Musgrove, 2023).

One of three very similar species. This species is larger than Macrophya ribis and the head around the frons and temples is almost impunctate (in ribis, the head has dense, coarse punctures in these areas).

Macrophya alboannulata specimens have previously been identified as albicincta but were recognised by Liston and added to the checklist. The two species can be separated by the colouring on the hind trochanter and trochantellus. In albicincta the hind trochanters are predominantly black and the trochantellus usually white with a black spot, whereas in alboannulata the hind trochanters are predominantly marked with white and the trochantellus never has a black spot. In males the labrum of albicincta is at least darkened an the lateral edges to mostly black, whereas in alboannulata the labrum is at most slightly infuscated at the lateral margins.

Jump to other Macrophya species

Size: 10 - 11mm

GB IUCN Status: Least Concern
GB Rarity Status: None

Distribution: England, Scotland, Wales

Flight period: April to July

Plant associations: Sambucus nigra (elder)


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

Chevin, H., 1975. Remarques taxinomiques et biologiques sur les Macrophya (Hym., Tenthredinidae) se développant sur Sambuccus (Caprifoliaceae). Annales de la Société entomologique de France.

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. 2023. A review of the status of sawflies of Great Britain - Phase 2: The Athaliidae and the Tenthredinidae (excluding Nematinae). Natural England, unpublished