Tenthredo brevicornis

One of a complex of four species: arcuata, brevicornis, notha, schaefferi. Males of the four species cannot always be reliably separated, though Taeger has produced a key to males on the continent. Tenthredo notha and schaeferri can be separated from arcuata and brevicornis by the yellow band on tergite 1 which broadens laterally and continues down onto the lateral face. Tenthredo arcuata and brevicornis females can be distinguished by the shape of the saw teeth. In brevicornis the saw teeth are sharp and pointed. However, in old specimens the saw teeth may become blunted and ressemble arcuata.

The larvae of Tenthredo brevicornis feed on bird's-foot trefoil.

Jump to other species of Tenthredo

Size: approx. 9 - 11mm

Status: Common

Distribution: England, Scotland, Wales, Ireland

Flight period: Uni- or bivoltine, June to September

Plant associations: Lotus corniculatus (Bird's-foot Trefoil)


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. https://doi.org/10.3897/BDJ.2.e1168

Fekete, K. (2018) Beginner’s guide to identifying British Tenthredo, Natural History Museum, London. http://www.nhm.ac.uk/content/dam/nhmwww/take-part/identification-trainers/sawflies-guide-id-trainees.pdf [Accessed 26Apr2019]

Taeger, A., (1988) Dritter Beitrag zur Kenntnis der Blattwespengattung Tenthredo L. (Hymenoptera: Symphyta: Tenthredinidae), Beitr. Ent., Berlin