Pamphilius varius (Serville, 1823)

Pamphilius varius

Female: The head is smooth and polished, yellow with extensive black markings. The thorax is mostly black with a rectangular yellow fleck on the mesoscutellum. Venation is yellowish basally and brown thereafter. Stigma is brownish yellow.The abdomen is orange-brown above marked with varying amounts of black and with black on tergite 1 and part of tergite 2.

Male: Head mostly black posteriorly and yellow anteriorly. Mesoscutellum and metascutellum normally yellow. Venation as per the female. Abdomen above frequently yellowish brown but, in the darkest speciments, only tergites 4 and 5 are orange brown, the rest being black.

Pamphilius varius larvae feed in leaf rolls on birches in sunny locations. Downy birch is preferred.

Jump to other Pamphiliidae

Size: 7 - 11mm

Status: Fairly common.

Distribution: England, Scotland, Wales, Ireland

Flight period: May to June

Plant associations: Betula spp. esp. pubescens (birch, esp. downy birch)


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.

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