About Sawfly GenUS

Background

Sawflies in the family Tenthredinidae will be included in this tool after the completion of year 2 of this project. Look for these genera in 2021!

Sawflies are a group of primarily herbivorous Hymenoptera, many of which are economic pests. Much of the technical literature available for sawflies is decades old, and there is no single resource that covers identification of all North American genera north of Mexico. Additionally, relatively few identification tools have been developed that take advantage of modern improvements in taxonomy, photography, and the functionality of matrix-based identification keys. The tool includes features that make sawfly identification to the generic level possible for non-specialists. This screening aid will help port identifiers and other users monitor and identify sawfly genera that may be intercepted at ports of entry, improving our knowledge and ability to analyze potential introduction pathways for this unique group of insects.

Scope

Sawfly GenUS is designed and developed as a screening aid to support identification of adult sawfly specimens to genus. This tool should be useful for port identifiers and screeners, state departments of agriculture, university extension, or anyone with an interest in sawflies! This multi-year project currently contains information and identification resources for sawfly genera within 11 families. The family Tenthredinidae, which is far more species-rich than the other sawfly families, will be addressed in year two. The guide is restricted to taxa occurring north of the Mexico-U.S. border, primarily because of still-limited knowledge regarding Mexican and Central American sawflies. The guide will still be useful for many specimens occurring in states in Northern Mexico.

This tool also includes fact sheets and a key to the species of Sirex the world. Sirex is a genus of wood-boring sawfly that in some cases has become an economic pest. We have included a key to species for this genus because it is often intercepted at ports of entry, and the exotic or native status of these insects has become an important distinction. All genera of the world described at the time of this publication are included in the fact sheets, but the key is most reliable for species of North America and Europe. Our goal in the future is to expand the key to include more complete information on Sirex native to central and eastern Asia.

The revision by Schiff et al. 2012 covers all Sirex species of the Western Hemisphere. Characters used in this revision were taken from previous work in Ross 1937 and Benson 1943. Throughout the Sirex species pages, and in the key to Sirex species, we primarily cite Schiff et al. 2012 because of its use of more modern terminology and current taxonomy.