Macrophya punctumalbum - Privet Strider, Privet Sawfly

Widespread north to Edinburgh (Musgrove, 2023).

This species is mainly parthenogenic with males being rare. The hind femur is red in contrast to the black and white hind tibiae. The front femora and tibiae are at least dark in part. The female has a white scutellum and white flecks on the lateral faces of the abdomen, but the rare males are black on those parts. Adults feed by scraping the leaves of the larval food plants and eating the resultant pulp.

Larvae feed Wild Privet (seemingly not the garden varieties), Lilacs and Common Ash. Eonymphs can move around in leaf litter for up to six weeks before burrowing. 

Jump to other Macrophya species

Size: 7- 8mm

GB IUCN Status: Least Concern
GB Rarity Status: None

Distribution: England, Scotland, Wales, Ireland

Flight period: May to June

Plant associations: Ligustrum vulgare (wild privet), Lilac (Syringa spp.) and Fraxinus excelsior (ash) 


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 Natural England, unpublished