Pristiphora rufipes - Columbine Sawfly
Pristiphora rufipes

The species separations in the rufipes group are unclear. Only this Pristiphora species in Britain and Ireland feeds on columbine. The species are predominantly black bodied. Females of species in this group all have a distinct scopa on the apex of the sawsheath. Males and females of the rufipes group cannot be separated other than by food plant and DNA analysis at this time.

Pristiphora rufipes larvae feed on columbines. Eggs are laid into the margins of the leaves. Larvae feed from the leaf edge and there may be several feeding on a leaf, though they do not feed communally. 

In captivity the larvae weave a dark cocoon between leaves or in the substrate and adults emerge after approximately two weeks.

Jump to other species of Pristiphora

Size: 4.5 - 5.5mm

Status: Local

Distribution: England, Scotland

Flight period: Multivoltine, May to September

Plant associations: Aquilegia vulgaris and Aquilegia olympica (columbines)


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.

Prous, M., Kramp, K., Vikberg, V. and Liston, A., 2017. North-Western Palaearctic species of Pristiphora (hymenoptera, tenthredinidae). Journal of Hymenoptera Research, 59