Wheat Stem Borer - Cephus pygmeus


The abdomen is long and thin and is black with narrow yellow bands. The wings are clear with a dark stigma.

Similar Species

Cephus spinipes is very similar.

Identification difficulty
ID guidance
  • More swollen antennal club (pre-apical segments broader than long)
  • Hind tibia with darker markings on inner side at apex or over all of tibia
  • Sawsheath protrudes inline with body profile when viewed side-on
  • Claws bifid at the apex – the teeth being more or less parallel
Recording advice

Microscopic examination is necessary. Please comment how you reached an ID.


Around fields where wheat is grown.

When to see it

Peak is June and July.

Life History

The larvae bore into the stems of wheat and a few other cereals and grasses.

UK Status

Widespread and thought to be fairly frequent in England and Wales.

VC55 Status

Status in Leicestershire and Rutland not known.

Leicestershire & Rutland Map


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

UK Map

Species profile

Common names
Wheat Stem Borer
Species group:
Records on NatureSpot:
First record:
06/06/2013 (Calow, Graham)
Last record:
07/06/2023 (Nicholls, David)

Total records by month

% of records within its species group

10km squares with records

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