Phylloecus linearis - Agrimony Stem-sawfly

Distributed north to Yorkshire although more scarce in the north-west. The foodplant tends to be found in drier habitats than that of the very similar Phylloecus xanthostoma (Musgrove, 2022). This species can be separated from xanthostoma by its shining face with no punctures. By contrast P. xanthostoma has scattered punctures. P. linearis also has a pronounced interantennal furrow and a fourth antennal segment that is at least 0.75 times the length of segment 3. In P. xanthostoma the fourth antennal segment is at most 0.66 times the length of the third.

Phylloecus linearis larvae feed inside the stems of agrimony.

Jump to other Cephidae

Size: 10 - 13mm.

GB IUCN Status: Least Concern
GB Rarity Status: None

Distribution: England, Wales

Flight period: May to June

Plant associations: Agrimonia eupatoria (Common Agrimony)


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 Natural England, unpublished