Tenthredo schaefferi - Schaeffer's Sawfly

Benson (1952) considered this to be a very scarce species, occurring north to Lincolnshire. It has subsequently been found widely as far north as Dundee, and west to Devon and Anglesey, suggesting that a significant range expansion occurred. However, there appears to have been a decline in recent years (Musgrove, 2023).

One of a complex of four species: arcuata, brevicornis, notha, schaefferi. This species is the rarest. Males of the four species cannot always be reliably separated, though Taeger has produced a key to males on the continent. Females can be separated by the hind tibia being marked with reddish-brown apically. The black band on each tergite continues on the downturned portion. The broad yellow band on tergite one does not narrow at the lateral edges.

Larvae feed either on Tufted Vetch (Liston, 1995) or Field Scabious (Macek et al, 2020).

Jump to other species of Tenthredo

Size: approx. 10 - 13mm

GB IUCN Status: Vulnerable
GB Rarity Status: None

Distribution: England, Scotland, Wales

Flight period: July to August

Plant associations: Vicia cracca (tufted vetch), Knautia arvensis (Field Scabious).


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. D. 1995: Compendium of European Sawflies. List of species, modern nomenclature, distribution, foodplants, identification literature. - Gottfrieding, Chalastos Forestry : 1-190

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

Macek, J., Roller, L., Beneš, K., Holý, K. and Holuša, J., 2020. Blanokřídlí České a Slovenské republiky: Širopasí. Academia.

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 Natural England, unpublished

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