Urocerus gigas

Long established and frequently encountered across Britain and Ireland. In both sexes the yellow eye spots are widely separated.

The female abdomen is banded with yellow. The hind tibia is only infuscated at the extreme apex which distinguishes it from U. augur. The stigma is at least slightly darker than the costa and the ovipositor is clearly shorter than the fore wing.

In the male, the abdomen has the seventh tergite yellow.

Urocerus gigas larvae feed in the timber of coniferous trees and take 2 to 3 years to mature.

Jump to other Urocerus species

Size: 12 - 40mm

Status: Established, frequent.

Distribution: England, Scotland, Wales, Ireland

Flight period: June to October

Plant associations: Pinaceae (coniferous trees) (1) including...

Cedrus spp. (cedars) (3)
Chamaecyparis spp. (cypresses) (3)
Larix spp. (larches) (3)
Picea spp. (spruces) (3)
Picea abies (Norway spruce) (3)
Picea sitchensis (sitka spruce) (3)
Pinus spp. (pines) (3)
Pinus sylvestris (Scots pine) (3)
Pseudotsuga menziesii (Douglas fir) (3)


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

2. 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

3. Schiff, N.M., Goulet, H., Smith, D.R., Boudreault, C., Wilson, A.D. and Scheffler, B.E., 2012. Siricidae (Hymenoptera: Symphyta: Siricoidea) of the western hemisphere. Canadian Journal of Arthropod Identification 21: 1-305, 21, pp.1-305.