Phymatoceropsis gracilicornis (Zaddach, 1859) = Paracharactus gracilicornis

A rare and/or very overlooked species in southern England and Wales. Benson (1952) knew of only three sites, and it has subsequently been found at just five more. Since 1990, the only records have been from single sites in Surrey and Norfolk. It can be extremely unobtrusive even where known to be present and seems likely to be overlooked.

The head, thorax and abdomen are black with the labrum being yellowish-white. The legs are generally black with brown knees and tibiae.

Phymatoceropsis gracilicornis larvae feed on moschatel, eating from the margins of the leaf first.

Jump to information on the genus Phymatoceropsis

Size: 5 - 6mm

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

Distribution: England, Wales

Flight period: late March to April

Plant associations: Adoxa moschatellina (moschatel)


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., Mutanen, M., Heidemaa, M., Blank, S.M., Kiljunen, N., Taeger, A., Viitasaari, M., Vikberg, V., Wutke, S. and Prous, M., 2022. Taxonomy and nomenclature of some Fennoscandian Sawflies, with descriptions of two new species (Hymenoptera, Symphyta). Deutsche Entomologische Zeitschrift69(2), pp.151-218.

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. 2023. A review of the status of sawflies of Great Britain - Phase 2: The Athaliidae and the Tenthredinidae (excluding Nematinae). Natural England, unpublished