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"Symphyta" - Sawflies, Horntails, and Wood Wasps

Sawfly - Macrophya formosa - female wasp sp. - Macrophya bifasciata - female Sawfly - Sterictiphora - male Sawfly on Philadelphus coronarius - Haymatus blassus Sawfly larvae in willow catkin fluff Common Sawfly  - Dolerus Tenthredo(?) - Macrophya ?Arge sp?
Kingdom Animalia (Animals)
Phylum Arthropoda (Arthropods)
Subphylum Hexapoda (Hexapods)
Class Insecta (Insects)
Order Hymenoptera (Ants, Bees, Wasps and Sawflies)
No Taxon "Symphyta" - Sawflies, Horntails, and Wood Wasps
Synonyms and other taxonomic changes
A paraphyletic grouping of more basal hymenopteran lineages, previously known as Symphyta; phylogenetic relationships summarized in(1)
Explanation of Names
"Sawfly" refers to the sawlike ovipositor cutting into plant tissues to deposit eggs(2)
~8000 spp. in ~800 genera of 14 families worldwide; 1245 spp. in ~140 genera of 13 families in the Nearctic Region(3)(4) and 1100 spp. in our area (Dave Smith's estimate, pers. comm. to =v= 5/2/10); >700 spp. in Canada(5), ~350 in VA(6)
The adults lack the characteristic "wasp waist". Females may have conspicuous ovipositors but are unable to sting.
Many sawfly larvae resemble caterpillars (how to distinguish) but have at least six pairs of prolegs (caterpillars have 5 or less, except for Megalopygidae, which have 7); others are legless and may be slimy (often called 'slugworms' or just 'slugs').
Keys to genera of Canada & n. US in (5), keys to world superfamilies and families and references to further identification in (7)


Worldwide and throughout NA
Most sawfly larvae feed externally on tree/shrub foliage; some mine leaves, a few form galls. Some bore in stems (Cephidae), fruits, or wood (horntail and woodwasp larvae), and in those legs are reduced or absent. Orussidae are parasitic. Some adult sawflies feed on nectar or pollen.(2)
Life Cycle
Usually have one generation a year and overwinter as mature larva or pupa in a cell/cocoon in the ground or in otherwise protected place; in larger spp. the cycle may take more than one year(2)
Internet References
Works Cited
1.Evolution of the Insects
David Grimaldi and Michael S. Engel. 2005.
2.Borror and DeLong's Introduction to the Study of Insects
Norman F. Johnson, Charles A. Triplehorn. 2004. Brooks Cole.
3.Blank et al. (2012) ECatSym: Electronic World Catalog of Symphyta (Insecta, Hymenoptera). Program version 4.0 beta
4.American Insects: A Handbook of the Insects of America North of Mexico
Ross H. Arnett. 2000. CRC Press.
5.The genera and subgenera of the sawflies of Canada and Alaska (Hymenoptera: Symphyta)
Goulet H. 1992. The insects and arachnids of Canada, Pt. 20. Ottawa: Agriculture Canada. 235 pp.
6.List of the Sawflies (Hymenoptera: Symphyta) of Virginia
Smith D.R. 2006. Banisteria 28: 3-23.
7.Hymenoptera of the world: an identification guide to families
Goulet H., Huber J., eds. 1993. Agriculture Canada Publication 1894/E. 668 pp.