Tenthredo livida


This sawfly has a conspicuous white mouth and white tips to its antennae. It is really variable in colour, sometimes all black, but other forms with varying amounts of red. The white marked antennae together with the white and brown stigma in the forewing are distinctive and help with the identification.

Similar Species

Other species also have the white banded antennae and a white 'mouth'. T. livida can be distinguished by having two-tone stigma - the apical two thirds brown and the basal third pale.

T. ferruginea has a yellowish brown stigma and usually has white on the thorax and over the eyes.

T. balteata has a black or dark brown stigma.

T. colon females have hind femurs with the distal third black in colour. Also the teeth on the basal part of the saw are relatively flat and rounded.

T. semicolon females have only the tip of the femur black. At the base of the saw the teeth are much sharper and triangular in shape.


Found along hedgerows and woodland rides

When to see it

Adult flies from May to August

Life History

The larvae are nocturnal grazers, feeding on a variety of leaves, such as Hazel, Willow and Honeysuckle.

UK Status

Widespread and common British species

VC55 Status

Common in Leicestershire and Rutland.

Leicestershire & Rutland Map

UK Map