16 June 2009

Birch sawfly (Cimbex femoratus)

While leading a group round Brede High Woods the other day a nice surprise was the discovery, by one member of the party of a birch sawfly in the grass along one of the rides.

20090613a Wbx, BHW etc. 031

This impressive insect is the size of a bumblebee and has bright yellow antennae and tarsi as well as an area that looks much like the filling in a mint chocolate immediately behind the thorax.

Though sometimes said to be common and widespread, the species does not seem to be well-represented in Sussex with records only from Hargate Forest in East Sussex (1995) and Rewell Wood (before 1982) in West Sussex.

The literature on this species seems curiously silent, maybe because sawflies are not a popular collecting group.

20090613a Wbx, BHW etc. 035

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