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I have been interested in nature for most of my life but since I retired I spend as much time as I can exploring the nature reserves and wildlife hotspots of my adopted home, Dorset in southern England. Whilst out I record what I see and take snaps where I can (I am no photographer!) and that forms the basis of my Nature of Dorset website. When I find something new I like to research it and write about it in my nature notes, it is how I learn and hopefully you might find my notes helpful as well!

This website is for the people of Dorset interested in wildlife and for people from elsewhere interested in the wildlife of Dorset!

15 October, 2016

Tenthredo mesomela: a sawfly

Sawflies are members of the same order as bees and wasps, the hymenoptera. Generally weak flying insects they do not travel far from the area in which they hatched and are often found on vegetation. Although they perhaps look as if they could be harmful they are not; they have no sting, do not bite and feed on pollen and very small insects.
This particular species, Tenthredo mesomela, has a wonderful metallic green and black colouring which makes it quite distinctive amongst sawflies. It is very much a woodland species where it lays eggs in rotting wood. Indeed, that is where the name sawfly comes from. The females of several species in the family have a saw-like ovipositor to enable them to 'saw' into wood to lay their eggs. The larvae feed at night, mainly on buttercups.
Widespread in Dorset woodlands but not common it can be seen from May through until july.
Tenthredo mesomela: a sawfly