Tenthredo obsoleta - Shorthorn Green Sawfly

This species is seldom recorded, with 18 records across Scotland and northern England. A 19th century record from 'King's Lynn' suggests it may once have been present in the Roydon/Dersingam area of Norfolk too. Many records are relatively recent (Musgrove, 2023).

A large black and green species similar to Tenthredo mesomela and mioceras. In Tenthredo obsoleta the mesopleura are black with a narrow subvertical green stripe whereas in the other two species the mesopleura are largely green with a wide black stripe. The stigma and costa of the fore wing and most of the upper surfaces are black.

A moorland species. Larvae feed on ribwort plantain.

Jump to other species of Tenthredo

Size: 9.5 - 12.5mm

GB IUCN Status: Least Concern
GB Rarity Status: Nationally Scarce

Distribution: England, Scotland, Ireland

Flight period: June to July

Plant associations: Plantago lanceolata (ribwort plantain)


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 Natural England, unpublished