Tenthredo velox - Swift Sawfly

Benson (1952) described the range as southwards to Teesdale and the Lake District, but the species has recently been found more widely south through Yorkshire, the southern Peak District, north and south Wales and Herefordshire. A handful of older records in the south-east are perhaps more questionable (Musgrove, 2023).

Tenthredo velox has the antenna partly pale from the third segment underneath and, in the female, is ringed with pale apically. The stigma and costa are dark. The head and thorax has dense coriaceous surface sculpture. The female is mostly black bodied with reddish legs, whilst the male abdomen is red from the third tergite to the apex.

Larvae feed on a range of plants. Perhaps associated with upland areas.

Jump to other species of Tenthredo

Size: 8 - 11mm

GB IUCN Status: Least Concern
GB Rarity Status: None

Distribution: England, Scotland, Wales

Flight period: June to August

Plant associations: Polygonum bistorta (bistort), Senecio fuchsia (wood ragwort), Salix (willow), Alnus viridis (alder).


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 Natural England, unpublished