Tenthredopsis litterata (Geoffroy, 1785)

Tenthredopsis litterata

One of six species recorded in Britain. A difficult group to identify due to the extreme variability in colour. This group is likely to undergo taxanomic changes in the future. This is the largest of the six species. Males of this species can be distinguished by the penis valves which have very long needle-like projections visible from above without dissection. Females have a distinctive hypogydium with a deep u-shaped excision and coloured whiteish with an inverted black "Y".
Larvae feed on grasses.

Size: 11 - 12mm

Status: Common

Distribution: England, Scotland, Wales

Flight period: May to July

Plant associations: Gramineae including Dactylis glomerata (grasses including cock's-foot)


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

Haris, A. and Gyurkovics, H. (2014) The genus Tenthredopsis Costa, 1859 in Hungary (Hymenoptera: Symphyta). Natura Somogyiensis, 24 pp. 99-124.

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