Strongylogaster multifasciata

A black and tan species and the commonest in this genus.

This species is very similar to the rarer Strongylogaster xanthocera.

Males are rare in multifasciata whereas S. xanthocera males are more frequent than females. Males of multifasciata have the first tergite marked with yellow on the lateral faces and the yellowing is greater on tergite 2. In the male of xanthocera the abdomen has the first tergite black right to the lateral margins and usually with at least the second tergite black also.

In Strongylogaster multifasciata females, the third antennal segment is only partially yellow, the epipygium is usually brown and the hind femur is usually only black basally. Females of xanthocera have at least the first three antennal segments yellow, the epipygium is usually black and the hind femur is usually black almost to the apex. The anal cells of the fore wing lack a cross-vein. The labrum is black. The sawsheath of the female is divergent at the apex.

Larvae feed on ferns.

Jump to other Strongylogaster species

Size: Approx. 9 - 11mm

Status: Common

Distribution: England, Scotland, Wales, Ireland

Flight period: May to September

Plant associations: Pteridium aquilinum (bracken) and Dryopteris filix-mas (male fern)


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.

Macek, J., 2010. Taxonomy, distribution and biology of selected European Dinax, Strongylogaster and Taxonus species (Hymenoptera: Symphyta). Acta Entomologica Musei Natioalis Pragae, 50(1).