Selandria serva


Length 6 to 8 mm. This is a bright orange-bodied sawfly with a black head, antennae and thorax. The legs are also orange and the wings have a dark stigma. Note that the side colour of the thorax is not diagnostic (it may be sexual dimorphism or simple variability).

Similar Species

There could be confusion with Brachythops flavens, but this usually has some yellow on the first antennal segments and also on the front of the thorax.

There are two UK species in this genus. Selandria melanosterna (formerly sixii) is very similar to sterna but larger (8 - 14mm), and less common. S. serva has the third antennal segment shorter than the three  terminal segments combined, whereas in S. melanosterna the third segment is longer than the final three.

Identification difficulty
ID guidance
  • 6-8mm
  • orange abdomen and legs
  • black head, thorax and antennae
  • front half of costa orange, remainder + stigma is black
Recording advice

This species has a red ID rating and unless identified by a known expert you must provide a satisfactory explanation of how it was identified for the record to be accepted.


Wetland areas.

Life History

The larvae graze the leaves of various grasses and rushes.

UK Status

Fairly frequent in Britain.

VC55 Status

Locally common 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