Poplar Sawfly - Cladius grandis


    The Poplar Sawfly is quite chubby looking and has a pale yellowy orange coloured abdomen with black head and thorax. It is up to 9 mm long. The best way to identify it is that the large pentagonal cell towards the edge of the forewing underneath the sigma has veins connecting to two different cells above it, rather than both connecting to one cell.

    Identification difficulty

    Adult, Larva and leafmine (when the host plant is identified)


    Any habitat with trees of the Poplar family

    When to see it

    May to August usually two broods.

    Life History

    Eggs are laid in a double row along the side of the leaf petiole. The larvae are very distinctive, both in terms of colour and their style of feeding. The colouration of the larvae changes as they mature. When fully grown, the larvae are 20 mm long. The hairy prepupal larva is yellowy-orange all over with black spots and a black head. The larvae feed gregariously but not by clinging to the edge of the leaf as most sawfly larvae do. Poplar sawfly larvae lie side by side on the underside of the leaf and start feeding at the tip end of the leaf. They gradually eat their way backwards but stop when their rear ends reach the basal edge of the leaf. At that point they migrate to another leaf and repeat the process.

    UK Status

    Fairly widespread but local in its distribution in Britain

    VC55 Status

    Occasional in Leicestershire and Rutland.

    Leicestershire & Rutland Map

    MAP KEY:

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

    UK Map