Phymatocera aterrima

Benson (1952) described this species as expanding, and knew it as occurring north to Cheshire. This expansion has continued with records now up to Sutherland. It is mostly recorded in gardens, although can also occur in more natural habitats (Musgrove, 2023).

The Solomon's Seal Sawfly. An entirely black species often seen flying around the host plant. Very similar to Rhadinoceraea micans. In Phymatocera aterrima the antennae are at least three times as long as the width of the head and as long as the whole body. In micans the antennae are about twice as long as the width of the head and about as long as the abdomen.

The larvae feed on Solomon's seal and can be very destructive.

Jump to information on the genus Phymatocera

Size: 8 - 9mm

GB IUCN Status: Least Concern
GB Rarity Status: None

Distribution: England, Ireland, Scotland, Wales

Flight period: April to June

Plant associations: Polygonatum spp. (Solomon's seals)


Benson, R.B., 1952. Handbooks for the Identification of British Insects. Hymenoptera, Symphyta, Vol 6, Section 2(a-c), Royal Entomological Society, London

Benson, R. B. 1953: The northward spraed of the solomon's seal sawfly (Phymatocera aterrima Klug) (Hym., Tenthredinidae). - The Entomologist's Monthly Magazine, Fourth Series, London 89(14): 63

Lacourt, J. 1998: Hyménoptères Symphytes capturés sur névé dans le Massif des Aiguilles Rouges (Haute-Savoie). - Bulletin mensuel de la Société Linnéenne de Lyon, Lyon 67(2): 48-56

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 Natural England, unpublished