Xiphydria camelus - Alder Swordtail
Recorded widely as far north as Speyside (Musgrove, 2022). 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
GB IUCN Status: Least Concern
GB Rarity Status: None
Distribution: England, Scotland, Wales
Flight period: May to August
Plant associations: Alnus spp., Betula spp. (alders and birches)
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
Musgrove, A.J. 2022. A review of the status of sawflies of Great Britain - Phase 1: families other than Tenthredinidae. Natural England, unpublished
Shaw, M. R. & Liston, A. D. 1985: Xiphydria longicollis (Geoffroy) (Hymenoptera: Xiphydriidae) new to Britain. - Entomologist's Gazette, Faringdon 36: 233-235