Birch Sawfly - Cimbex femoratus


Up to 25mm long, the largest British Sawfly. The adult is easily recognised by the pale band on its shiny black abdomen. Wings are smoky brown colour with dark brown margins. The antennae are yellow tipped.

Identification difficulty

Favours habitats where Birch trees are found.

When to see it

May to August

Life History

The solitary larvae feed on Silver Birch leaves between June and September and can grow up to 45mm in length. A black edged bluish stripe runs along the middle of the larva's back for the length of its body. There is a single row of black dots along the side of the body.

UK Status

Local throughout Britain, not very common.

VC55 Status

Uncommon in Leicestershire and Rutland.

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Leicestershire & Rutland Map


Yellow squares = NBN records (all known data)
Coloured circles = NatureSpot records: 2020+ | 2015-2019 | pre-2015

UK Map