Brief Summary

    Tenthredinidae: Brief Summary
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     src= Rhogogaster viridis  src= Macrophya annulata, Brussels

    Tenthredinidae is the largest family of sawflies, with well over 7,500 species worldwide, divided into 430 genera. Larvae are typically herbivores and feed on the foliage of trees and shrubs, with occasional exceptions that are leaf miners, stem borers, or gall makers. The larvae of externally feeding species resemble small caterpillars. As with all hymenopterans, common sawflies undergo complete metamorphosis.

    The family has no easily seen diagnostic features, though the combination of five to nine antennal flagellomeres plus a clear separation of the first abdominal tergum from the metapleuron can reliably separate them. These sawflies are often black or brown, and from 3–20 mm long. Like other sawflies, they lack the slender "wasp-waist", or petiole, between the thorax and abdomen, characteristic of many hymenopterans . The mesosoma (or thorax) and the metasoma (abdomen) are instead broadly joined. The Tenthredinidae are also often somewhat dorsoventrally flattened, which will distinguish them at least from the slender cephids (which, together with the common sawflies, comprise many of the Nearctic species of Symphyta).

    Females use their saw-like ovipositors to cut slits through barks of twigs, into which translucent eggs are wedged, which damages the trees. They are common in meadows, and in forest glades near rapid streams. Adults eat little, while larvae feed on foliage of streamside trees and shrubs, especially willow.

    A number of species and genera have been described from the fossil record such as Eriocampa tulameenensis and Pseudosiobla campbelli of British Columbia.

    Brief Summary
    provided by Catalog of Hymenoptera in America North of Mexico
    This is the largest sawfly family with over 5,000 world species. Representatives of the Tenthredinidae are found in all regions of the world, but it is a dominant family only in the Northern Hemisphere where their predominance increases northwards. Most members of this family are cylindrical, wasplike insects ranging in size from 2.5 mm. to about 15 mm. in length. Most have nine-segmented antennae though some have fewer and some more. Habits and host plants are diverse. Most larvae feed externally on the foliage of the host plant, but some are leafminers, gallformers, or shootborers. Most larvae are caterpillarlike. ~The division of the family into subfamilies has always been controversial, and there are nearly as many different arrangements as authors. There are current differences between North American and European workers. Eight subfamilies are utilized in this catalog, most of the units being the same as those previously recognized in the North American literature. Most are readily separated on the basis of wing venational differences. ~For general references to this family, see those listed under Suborder Symphyta.

Comprehensive Description