Macrophya ribis - Drab Elder Strider

Widespread throughout England and Wales, with just one 19th century Scottish record to date. Assessments against all criteria give no reason to consider it threatened. However, a reduction in the last ten years is notable against the backdrop of a general significant increase in sawfly recording (Musgrove, 2023).

Very similar to the slightly larger Macrophya albicincta and alboannulata but in ribis the head has dense, coarse punctures above and on the temples, whereas in the two similar species this area is almost impunctate. A wholly black and white species.

Macrophya ribis larvae feed on elder.

Jump to other Macrophya species

Size: 8 - 10mm

GB IUCN Status: Near Threatened
GB Rarity Status: None

Distribution: England, Scotland, Wales

Flight period: May 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

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 Natural England, unpublished