Pamphilius latifrons - Broad-headed Spinner

Sparsely recorded from a range of sites in south-east England over the last century with only three records since 1950 (Musgrove, 2022).

Female: The head is pale yellow with black patterns and the vertex sometimes has a greenish tinge. The thorax is black with yellow marks and the mesoscutellum and metascutellum are also yellow. The venation is brownish-yellow basally, darkening towards the apex. Stigma yellow with light brown markings. Abdomen is black dorsally with light brown laterally and along the midline of central tergites.

Males: Few specimens exist. The head is black dorsally and yellow anteriorly and laterally and with pale yellow stripes from the eye to the back of the head. The mesoscutellum and metascutellum are black but may be tinged yellow centrally. Venation as per the female. Abdomen more broadly black than the female.

Eggs are laid on the upper side of a leaf and covered in a clear mucus which hardens when dry to protect the egg. Pamphilius latifrons larvae feed in conical leaf rolls on aspen. Weiffenbach reared larvae found on goat willow in Germany.

Jump to other Pamphiliidae

Size: 11 - 13mm

GB IUCN Status: Near Threatened
Status: Nationally Rare

Distribution: England

Flight period: May to June

Plant associations: Populus tremula (Aspen) is preferred, but also sometimes on Salix caprea (Goat Willow)


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 Natural England, unpublished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.

Weiffenbach, H., 1967. Űber wenig bekannte oder bemerkenswerte Blattwespen aux Nord und Mittelhesse.(Hym. Tenthredinidae). Entomologische Zeitschrift, 77(9), pp.97-107.