Tenthredo mesomela - Common Green Sawfly

Recorded throughout most of mainland Britain, as well as Orkney and the Hebrides (Musgrove, 2023).

A large Tenthredo with most of the upper surface black and most of the lower surface lime green. The stigma of the fore wing is black. Similar to Tenthredo mioceras. Both have green mesopleura with a subvertical black stripe. In Tenthredo mesomela the mesopleura is coriaceous above but shining below and the hairs on the head are fuscous, whereas in mioceras the mesopleura has coriaceous sculpture all over and the hairs are silvery. Also in mioceras the postocellar area is more rectangular with the front margin clearly longer than the side margins, whereas in mesomela the postocellar area is more squarish with the front margin only slightly longer than the side margin. Tenthredo mesomela is a generalist in habitat terms whilst mioceras is associated with upland moors.

The larvae feed on a broad range of plants.

Jump to other species of Tenthredo

Size: 9.5 - 13mm

GB IUCN Status: Least Concern
GB Rarity Status: None

Distribution: England, Scotland, Wales, Ireland

Flight period: May to July

Plant associations: Veronica (speedwells), Ranunculus (buttercups), Epilobium (willowherbs), Tussilago (coltsfoot), Rumex (docks), Salix (willows), Heracleum (hogweed), Arctium lappa (greater burdock), Polygonum persicaria (redshank).


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

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]

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

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 Natural England, unpublished