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black sawfly

black sawfly
Lake Meyer Park, Winneshiek County, Iowa, USA
June 1, 2018
Size: 6 mm
I found several small black sawflies with light-colored legs to compare with on the BugGuide pages for sawflies, but most did not have white stripes on the sides of their thorax like this one. I spent most of my time looking through sawflies in the tribe Fenusini, and couldn't find a suitable match, but I was probably looking in the wrong place.

Images of this individual: tag all
black sawfly black sawfly black sawfly black sawfly

Moved from Common Sawflies.

I'm a bit stumped by this one. It's definitely Allantinae, but I can't see enough to be confident of genus. From what I can see, and given it's ovipositing on Cornus, Phrontosoma is a possibility - Smith's (1979) description of P. belfragei allows for the colouration of this specimen.

Alas, without the specimen in hand it's hard to be sure. But if it's something other than P. belfragei, this could well be a new host plant record.

I really appreciate your input on this sawfly ID, Spencer! I wasn't even close on my guess as to genus. With luck, I'll find another one out in the field this spring and get some better photos. This compact little sawfly did look very similar in shape to the P. belfragei specimens on BugGuide, but unfortunately it lacks the red thorax.

Best of luck then!
If you do find another, be sure to collect a specimen!

sawfly ID
Will do, Spencer! How should a sawfly specimen be handled after collecting - pinned, frozen or some other preservation method?

Pinned or in ethanol
Frozen and pinned is probably fine, or collected into 95%+ ethanol, if you've access to it. Then delivered to your nearest natural history collection, ideally! :)

sawfly collection
Thanks for the tips on preserving sawfly specimens, Spencer. I will talk with the entomologist at Luther College in Decorah IA, just a few miles from my office, about the process and maybe dropping them off there if I make any collections.

Looks like...
She's ovipositing. Do you remember the plant she was on?

common sawfly host plant
Yes, she was ovipositing on a redosier dogwood leaf (Cornus sericea), Yurika. I did not realize she was laying eggs there.

Moved from ID Request.

Thanks for all your help, Ken! I wasn't sure if this sawfly even belonged in the common sawfly family.

The antennae are the key.
Go through the sawfly families in BG and compare the antennae. Soon, you'll be able to place a sawfly to family with confidence. :)

sawfly identification
Thanks for that great tip, Ken! I have learned how to tell braconid and ichneumon wasps from sawflies by looking at the antennae, but hadn't thought to try that trick within the sawfly families.

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