Sciapteryx consobrina - Shady Cousin

A rare species, reported from only four locations to date. Benson (1952) noted reports from Sussex (1893) and Oxfordshire (1944), and subsequently recorded from Yorkshire (1983) and Leicestershire (2011) (Musgrove, 2023).

One of two Sciapteryx species in Britain. In the female, mostly black with white on the tegulae, the labrum, more or less the inner and outer orbits, narrowly on the pronotal margin and narrow apical margins of the tergites. There is a white spot also on the apices of the coxae and the front face of the tibia and the tarsi are white. The male is similarly patterned but with more white on the clypeus and labrum and broader eye margins. The stigma and costa are black and the subcosta-radial vein is white in front and black behind.

Note that Sciapteryx consobrina adults emerge as Lesser Celandine and Moschatel come into flower and have been observed macerating the flowers and leaves to feed on the plant juices.

Sciapteryx consobrina larvae feed on moschatel.

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Size: 6-10mm

GB IUCN Status: Critically Endangered
GB Rarity Status: Nationally Rare

Distribution: England

Flight period: April to May

Plant associations: Adoxa moschatellina (moschatel)


Benes, K. 1960: Beitrag zur Bionomie und Morphologie der Larven von Sciapteryx consobrina (Kl.) (Hymenoptera: Tenthredinidae). - Acta Universitatis Carolinae, Biologica, Praha 60(3): 193-198

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

Ermolenko, B.M. 1961 On the nutrition of the adult Adoxa sawfly Sciapteryx consobrina Klug (Hymenoptera, Tenthredinidae) - juice from the leaves and flowers of Ficaria verna Huds. Academy Of Sciences Of The Ukrainian SSR Proceedings Of The Institute Of Zoology, Vol. XVII, 1961 (In Russian - Про живлення імаго адоксового пильщика Sciapteryx consobrina Klug (Hymenoptera, Tenthredinidae) соком з листків та квіток Ficaria verna Huds.)

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 Natural England, unpublished

Woollatt, L. H. 1946: Some biological notes on Sciapteryx consobrina Klug (Hym., Symphyta: Tenthredinidae). - The Entomologist's Monthly Magazine, Fourth Series, London 84(9): 18-19