Pamphilius betulae - Streaked Poplar Spinner

Historically, this species has been confused with P. festivus, but examination of specimens in British collections has revealed the presence of only P. betulae. Thinly distributed in south-east England. Although scarce, the species does continue to be encountered by recorders at a low frequency (Musgrove, 2022).

The female has an orange-yellow head with a black patch around the ocelli. The thorax is black with only the tegulae and pronotum marked yellow. The abdomen is mostly yellow, but tergite 1 is black. Venation and stigma mostly yellow with the wings darkened below the stigma.

The male head is divided yellow anteriorly and black posteriorly. The thorax is black dorsally and the abdomen is brownish-yellow with black more or less on the first three tergites and apically.

Pamphilius betulae larvae feed in leaf rolls on young and small poplar and aspen trees.

Jump to other Pamphiliidae

Size: Male: 10 - 13mm, Female 11 - 16mm

GB IUCN Status: Least Concern
GB Rarity Status: Nationally Scarce

Distribution: England

Flight period: May to July

Plant associations: Populus spp. (poplars) including Populus tremula (aspen), Populus nigra (black poplar), Populus alba (white poplar).


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

Gussakovskij, V. V. 1935: Insectes Hyménoptères, Chalastogastra 1. - Fauna SSSR, Moskva, Leningrad 2(1): 1-453.

Liston A, Knight G, Sheppard D, Broad G, Livermore L (2014) Checklist of British and Irish Hymenoptera - Sawflies, ‘Symphyta’. Biodiversity Data Journal 2: e1168.

Magis, N. 1988: Mise à jour du catalogue des Pamphiliidiae observés en Belgique et dans les régions limitrophes. (Hyménoptères: Symphytes). - Notes fauniques de Gembloux, Gembloux 16: 1-48

Musgrove, A.J. 2022. A review of the status of sawflies of Great Britain - Phase 1: families other than Tenthredinidae. Natural England, unpublished

Viitasaari, M. ed., 2002. Sawflies (Hymenoptera, Symphyta), I: a review of the suborder, the Western Palaearctic taxa of Xyeloidea and Pamphilioidea. Tremex Press.