Xeris spectrum (Linnaeus, 1758)

Xeris spectrum

The female is immediately recogniseable having an ovipositor as long as the whole body of the insect. The entire insect is black with whitish marks behind the eyes and on the lateral corners of the pronotum. The legs are pale.
The male is similar to the female but with dark legs.

Larvae feed in the timber of coniferous trees and take 2 or 3 years to emerge.


Size: 15 - 30mm (excl. ovipositor)

Status: Rarely encountered

Distribution: England, Wales, Ireland

Flight period: June to October

Plant associations: Pinaceae (coniferous trees)


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

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