Nesoselandria morio (Fabricius, 1781)

Nesoselandria morio

Similar in appearance to the much more frequently encountered Aneugmenus padi. This species is smaller at only around 5mm and the legs are a deeper yellow to orange colour (bright yellow in padi). The remainder of the insect is black. The head is shiny and lacks sculpture or puncturation.

In captive breeding experiments, although the eggs were laid on scarlet pimpernel, speedwells, forget-me-nots, etc., the emerging larvae did not feed on any vascular plants. Vikberg reports that Nesoselandria morio larvae feed on mosses, usually ones with broad lamellae. The larvae are grey, warty, and with a black head in early instars, the head becoming brown in the prepupal stage.

Jump to information on the genus Nesoselandria

Size: approx. 4 - 5mm

Status: Widespread

Distribution: England, Scotland, Wales, Ireland

Flight period: May to September

Plant associations: Mosses including Plagiomnium spp., Pseudobryum spp., Dicranum spp., Ceratodon spp., Hedwigia spp., Plagiothecium spp., and Polytrichum spp.


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.

Vikberg, V & Nuorteva, M. (1997) On the rearing of Nesoselandria morio(Fabricius) and Birka cinereipes(Klug) (Hymenoptera, Tenthredinidae), with descriptions of their larvae. Entomologica Fennica. 8. 27-38.