Pamphilius pallipes - Drab Spinner

Records are distributed widely north to the Great Glen. Reports of this species have declined over a longer time period with only a few records between 1991 and 2020 (Musgrove, 2022).

Female: The head is mottled black and yellow and the thorax is black with a yellow pattern dorsally. Abdomen may be almost entirely black above but often with the midline of tergites 4 and 5 brownish and the apical tergite yellow. Occasionally the abdomen is almost entirely brown above. The stigma is brownish-yellow.

Male: The head is patterned with black and yellow and the abdomen is black with the midline of tergites 4 and 5 brown and brown lateral faces.

Pamphilius pallipes larvae feed in twist-like leaf rolls of birch leaves.

Jump to other Pamphiliidae

Size: Male: 7 - 11mm, Female: 8 - 12mm

GB IUCN Status: Near Threatened
GB Rarity Status: Nationally Rare

Distribution: England, Scotland, Wales, Ireland

Flight period: May to June

Plant associations: Betula spp. (birches) including Betula pubescens (Downy Birch), Betula pendula (Silver Birch). Also rarely Alnus viridis (Green 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 Natural England, unpublished

Schedl, W., 1976. Untersuchungen an Pflanzenwespen (Hymenoptera: Symphyta) in der subalpinen bis alpinen Stufe der zentralen ötztaler Alpen (Tirol, Österreich). Im Kommissionsverlag der Oesterreichischen Kommissionsbuchhandlung.

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