Sirex areolatus - Areolate Woodwasp

Native to North America and probably only found in Britain when emerging from imported timber. Several specimens were taken in Coventry in 1923/24. Even if other undocumented records have occurred, it is clearly no more than an occasional import (Musgrove, 2022). Sirex areolatus adults have predominantly blue-black legs, head, and thorax. The female abdomen is wholly blue-black and in the male, it is black only on the basal and apical abdominal segments, with the central tergites being red-brown. The wings are smoky to violaceous.

Areolate Woodwasp larvae feed in timber of various non-native coniferous species for up to 3 years.

Jump to other Sirex species

Size: Approx. 10 to 40mm

GB IUCN Status: Not Applicable
GB Rarity Status: Not Applicable

Distribution: England (not established)

Flight period: June to October

Plant associations: Pinaceae spp. (pines, cedars, junipers, firs, redwood) including Cupressus macrocarpa (Monterey cypress), Calocedrus decurrens (Californian incense-cedar), Sequoia sempervirens (coastal redwood), Thuja spp. (white-cedar and red-cedar), Taxodium distichum (swamp cypress), Pinus contorta (lodgepole pine), Pinus radiata (Monterey pine), Pseudotsuga menziesii (Douglas fir).


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 Natural England, unpublished

Schiff, N.M., Goulet, H., Smith, D.R., Boudreault, C., Wilson, A.D. and Scheffler, B.E., 2012. Siricidae (Hymenoptera: Symphyta: Siricoidea) of the western hemisphere. Canadian Journal of Arthropod Identification 21: 1-305, 21, pp.1-305.