Friday, June 17, 2011

Honeysuckle Sawfly, Zaraea fasciata

There I was, sitting in the garden, enjoying the sun and photographing the flowers, when this portly hymenopteran buzzed past my ear and crash-landed on a lady's mantle plant. It's the honeysuckle sawfly Zaraea fasciata (formely known as Abia fasciata) - and that makes sense because our garden hedge is full of flowering honeysuckle at the moment. Its larvae feed on honeysuckle foliage. It only settled for a few seconds and then I lost sight of it, but you can find a much better photograph of this insect at Pete Smith's Focus on Wildlife blog. Now I need to find the larvae on the honeysuckle. This isn't an insect I've seen in County Durham before.

It belongs to a family of sawflies called the Cimbicidae, or club-horned sawflies, that have clubbed antennae. The only other photo I managed to take - with a shift in focus - shows these quite nicely.

There are some more sawfly-related posts here

4 comments:

  1. I see what you mean about being club-horned. Do they do much damage to the Honeysuckle?

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  2. Hi Toffeeapple, I think they just eat a few leaves - nothing very destructive...

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  3. Hi Phil,

    Haha, I was reading your post and thinking " that looks a bit like that sawfly I saw last year...".
    Have to say I have not seen one before or since but I note it was August last year when I saw it so they could possibly be around for the whole summer. will have to keep my eyes peeled. Also useful to know that it has the common name Honeysuckle Sawfly...a lot easier to remember!

    Pete

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  4. Hi Pete, you have some brilliant pictures on your blog! Cheers, Phil

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