Pristiphora testacea (JURINE, 1807)

Liston, A. D., Knight, G. T., Heibo, E., Bland, K. P., Barstad, Trond Elling, Blank, S. M., Boeve, J. - L., Fiedler, K., Grearson, K. J., Halstead, A., Jacobs, H. - J., Jansen, E., Lonnve, O., Prous, M., Robinson, J. & Taeger, A., 2012, On Scottish sawflies, with results of the 14 International Sawfly Workshop, in the southern Highlands, 2010 (Hymenoptera, Symphyta), Beiträge Zur Entomologie = Contributions to Entomology 62, pp. 1-68 : 49-50

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Pristiphora testacea (JURINE, 1807)


Pristiphora testacea (JURINE, 1807)

Not previously recorded in Scotland. Benson (1958) gives Hertfordshire as the most northern occurrence in England.

Pristiphora thalictri ( KRIECHBAUMER, 1884)

Species of this group of Pristiphora , as far as is known, use Ranunculaceae as larval hosts. Several Palaearctic species are attached to Thalictrum , with one species on Aquilegia ( P. rufipes Serville, 1823 ). Pristiphora thalictri is distinguished from other West Palaearctic Pristiphora (subgenus Pristiphora ) species by the combination of shiny and nearly unsculptured mesopleura, entirely (or predominantly) black hind legs, darkened costa and stigma, and more or less infuscate wings (Figs 8, 9). The dark wing colour is evident in all specimens, but varies. Wings of specimens from hot and dry sites seem to be darker, based on material in the SDEI. A specimen with very dark wings was described from Croatia by Konow (1902) as P. henschi (currently treated as a synonym of P. thalictri ). Wings of the Perthshire specimens are rather pale, like the syntypes from near Munich ( ZSM). The hind legs of all Central European specimens examined are entirely black, as are those of the Scottish male. According to Conde (1934) some Latvian females identified as P. thalictri reared from T. aquilegifolium have [translated] “the metafemora […] yellow-white with a black apex”. Zhelochovtsev & Zinovjev (1993) describe leg colouration of P. thalictri thus: “Femora darkened. Hind legs black, tibiae with light colored bases, occasionally femora light colored with dark apex.” Presumably this characterization is based on specimens from European Russia. Some specimens from the Waldviertel of Austria, reared from Thalictrum aquilegifolium , leg. E. Altenhofer ( SDEI) have an almost entirely white metatibia, with only the apex black. These were previously identified ( Pschorn-Walcher & Altenhofer 2006) as P. thalictri , but the lancet differs considerably from that species. Possibly this taxon is undescribed. The Scottish female ( HMUG) has pale marked base of metatibia but the metafemur is entirely black. The serrulae of the lancet possess numerous denticles in the Scots female ( Fig. 10), as in the illustration given by Zhelochovtsev & Zinovjev (1993) for P. thalictri . Also noteworthy, is the entirely black labrum of the Meall nan Tarmachan male ( SDEI), as in 1 ♂, Trübsee, Unterwalden, Switzerland ( RSME). All Central European specimens of P. thalictri (both sexes) so far examined have at least the apical half pale brown. It is apparent that further work on the taxonomy, host associations and distribution of the Pristiphora species associated with Thalictrum is required.

Benson (1958) has already mentioned P. thalictri as a British species, as a re-identification of the taxon first recorded as P. fuscata Benson, 1943 (a replacement name for P. fumipennis (Thomson, 1871)) . Benson knew only one taxon of this group in the British Isles (in England and Ireland; attached to Thalictrum flavum ), described as having entirely pale red hind tibia and tarsus [also completely pale femora; implicitly through comparison with N. fumipennis Thomson ], which he latterly referred to ( Benson 1958) as P. thalictri ssp. fuscata , noting that it is “replaced by darklegged forms of P. thalictri Kriechbaumer in other parts of Eurasia to Japan ”. Lindqvist (1962), supporting his argumentation particularly with characters in the morphology of the lancet, synonymised P. fuscata with P. brevis (Hartig, 1837) and restricted use of the name thalictri to specimens with very dark legs, whose distribution stretches from the Ukraine, Balkans and Italy through East and Central Europe, reaching Belgium and Thuringia ( Germany) in the North ( Taeger et al. 2006). See above on specimens with differently coloured legs recorded in Austria, Latvia and European Russia.

Nematus thalictri was described partly on the basis of syntype specimens reared from larvae collected on Thalictrum aquilegifolium near Munich ( Kriechbaumer 1884). Takeuchi (1922) described a Diphadnus thalictri based on specimens reared from Thalictrum minus View in CoL in Japan. Okutani (1967) recorded also Thalictrum thunbergii View in CoL as a host of P. thalictri in Japan. According to Takeuchi (1952) D. thalictri is a synonym of P. thalictri (Kriechb.) . This synonymy has generally been accepted (e.g. Taeger et al. 2010), not least because Takeuchi described the legs of D. thalictri as predominantly black. The placement of D. thalictri nevertheless requires confirmation. Whilst T. aquilegifolium is an introduced garden plant in the British Isles, recorded only very rarely as naturalized in Scotland, T. minus View in CoL is widespread in upland Scotland. However, the only Thalictrum species recorded at Meall nan Tarmachan is T. alpinum View in CoL (long known from there as a typical member of the rock-ledge flora), which therefore seems to be the most likely host at this site. Note that Bland has observed sawfly larvae feeding on Thalictrum alpinum View in CoL near the summit of the Cairnwell (Aberdeens.). These were observed during a search for larvae of Lepidoptera View in CoL and were not collected. Efforts should be made to obtain further material of Pristiphora View in CoL from Thalictrum View in CoL in Scotland and data on hosts.

Pristiphora (Lygaeotus) sp.

1 ♀, Baddoch,, leg. Blank, Liston & Taeger.

Sawsheath in dorsal view rounded-triangular rather like P. carinata but more similar to illustration of P. trochanterica in Zhelochovtsev & Zinovjev (1993). This specimen is darker than P. carinata (i.e. legs very black, with completely dark femur, pronotum nearly completely piceous) and has shorter, thicker antennae and cerci noticeably projecting beyond sawsheath tip and setae on valvula 3 present almost to base. This combination of characters does not fit existing descriptions of Pristiphora (Lygaeotus) species.


Bavarian State Collection of Zoology


Hunterian Museum














Pristiphora testacea (JURINE, 1807)

Liston, A. D., Knight, G. T., Heibo, E., Bland, K. P., Barstad, Trond Elling, Blank, S. M., Boeve, J. - L., Fiedler, K., Grearson, K. J., Halstead, A., Jacobs, H. - J., Jansen, E., Lonnve, O., Prous, M., Robinson, J. & Taeger, A. 2012

Nematus thalictri

Kriechbaumer 1884


Linnaeus 1758
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