Pamphilius fumipennis - Dark-winged Spinner

There is a broad spread of records in England and Wales north to south Cumbria; absent from south-west England and south Wales to date. The records have continued at a low frequency to the present, although only five were noted between 1991 and 2020 (Musgrove, 2022).

Predominantly black with yellow legs. The antennal scape is entirely yellow (unlike in the similar Pamphilius sylvaticus).

Pamphilius fumipennis larvae feed singly in leaf rolls created by cutting through the veins near to the midrib of the leaf. The rolls are typically cylindrical. The larvae feed from the cut end of the tube along the leaf blade. Larvae are green with a light brown head which turns green in the final instar. On the continent, grey alder is the preferred foodplant but in Britain the associate foodplant is usually hazel. Grey alder is now widely planted in Britain in amenity landscaping projects.

Jump to other Pamphiliidae

Size: 8 - 11mm

GB IUCN Status: Endangered
GB Rarity Status: Nationally Rare

Distribution: England, Wales

Flight period: May to June

Plant associations: Corylus avellana (hazel) and Alnus incana (grey alder).


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. 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 Natural England, unpublished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.