Ben_Rainbow's picture

Sawfly on Calluna in heathy churchyard

Observed: 11th July 2013 By: Ben_Rainbow
British Dragonfly Society - Sussex Group
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Sawfly on Calluna in heathy churchyard
Sawfly on Calluna in heathy churchyard (2)

There were approximately 6 of these sawfly settling on the top of a large clump of calluna vulgaris. They appeared to be holding small territories on it. It was a very hot day in full sun.
There was much Devil's-bit Scabious, Succissa pratensis in the churchyard.

Species interactions

No interactions present.


Ardea's picture

This is a sawfly Ben, no

This is a sawfly Ben, no waist and clubbed antennae. Can't help you on species but given your great photo I'm sure somebody will have an ID.


Ben_Rainbow's picture

Identification to species level

Thank you for your help with identification so far.
I've uploaded another photo showing in more detail the eyes and inter-ocular space. If anyone is able to help identifiy this to a species level - or recommend an identification key - I'd be grateful.

Ardea's picture

Ben, I copied the link to a

Ben, I copied the link to a friend in Germany that specialises in Sawflies, he replies as follows - so I'll add the ID.
Hi Brian,
I don't mind at all. If it seems like it might take too long to identify something & that the result would not be worthwhile (i.e. too uncertain), I'll tell you (and perhaps suggest another specialist who might have a more informed opinion). But these photos seem clear enough, because colour of antennae is visible and that seems to be a good ID character. It's a male Abia candens. Abia males do indeed hold territories, and Succisa pratensis is a known larval host.
Best regards,

Ben_Rainbow's picture

Thanks Andrew

Belated thanks to you Brian, and to your friend Andrew. I shall return to the site next summer to seek out some larvae to be doubly sure. Best wishes, Ben.