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.

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    Leicestershire & Rutland Map

    MAP KEY:

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

    UK Map