The alder wood-wasp is one of three species in the genus in Britain. Xiphydria camelus and longicollis have the abdomen entirely black dorsally. All three species have lateral white spots on the abdomen. In camelus the antennal second segment is clearly shorter than the fourth segment. The hind basitarsus about the same length as the following three segments combined.
Larvae bore into the wood of ailing alders and birches in wetland habitats.
For a detailed look at the life history of this species there is a video available on YouTube.
Size: 10 - 21mm
Distribution: England, Scotland, Wales
Flight period: May to August
Plant associations: Alnus spp., Betula spp. (alders and birches)
The National Biodiversity Network records are shown on the map below. (See terms and conditions)
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
Shaw, M. R. & Liston, A. D. 1985: Xiphydria longicollis (Geoffroy) (Hymenoptera: Xiphydriidae) new to Britain. - Entomologist's Gazette, Faringdon 36: 233-235