About Sawfly GenUS

Using this tool

Sawfly GenUS can be used to identify all sawfly genera that occur in America north of Mexico, screen for select exotic species that may pose a risk to North American agriculture, learn about sawfly biology, behavior, and anatomy and view images of multiple sawfly genera.

Sawfly GenUS contains:

  • General sawfly information: Pages that summarize sawfly biology, morphology, classification, host plants, and economic importance are provided to give users of many levels of experience an understanding of these insects.
  • Identification keys: The interactive keys allow users to select characters based on specimens in hand, and use these to identify the specimens to genus.
  • Fact sheets: Family, genus, and species fact sheets provide detailed information about each sawfly taxon treated on this site, as well as highlighted exotic species. Fact sheets include diagnostic characteristics and host associations, a summary of global and North American species diversity, range maps, and an assessment of economically important species in the genus. Fact sheets are searchable from any page in the tool; for example, a user can search for the plant (scientific or common name) where they discovered their specimen, and find all the known North American sawfly genera associated with that plant.
  • An image gallery: The filterable gallery allows users to compare images from multiple taxa at once or find examples of diagnostic characters.
  • An illustrated glossary: Words and phrases related to sawfly morphology and biology will help users navigate specialized terminology found on this website and in older print resources.
  • References: All literature used to create this tool is cited for users to access if additional information is desired.

Using the fact sheet maps

Clicking on a point will give you the species name, identifier, date of collection, and locality. Specimens recorded with only a country name as a location are assigned a point in the center of that country. For example, a specimen collected in Nagasaki, Japan that with a label that says only “Japan” for locality, shows up as a point in the ocean off the coast of Niigata, Japan, because that is the known geographical centroid of the country. Country centroids used on this site were determined by Kelly O’Neil from WorldMap of Harvard University. Map points on this site with ambiguous localities include a disclaimer.

Map data presented on this site does not represent the full range of a given genus or species due to the nature of uneven collecting and reporting throughout the world. Additionally, not all data sets have been updated to current taxonomy, though with evidence from recent literature, many names have been changed. Individual fact sheets reference any changes to taxonomy that have occurred in creating maps.

Many of the data points used come from the Global Biodiversity Information Facility which pulls data worldwide from several accredited institutions to an online resource. Data provided by GBIF are not verified by Sawfly GenUS authors nor by GBIF staff for accuracy, and users should find relevant histories of all data points through the GBIF DOI provided underneath each map to investigate accuracy.

For genera and species not well-represented on GBIF, many points came from label data collected from two participating institutions: the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History (USNM) and the Oregon State Arthropod Collection (OSAC). In some cases, especially in older specimens, labels include a collection locality but no coordinates. Authors worked to standardize interpretation of locations by use of Geonames database searches through both the US Geographical Survey (geonames.usgs.gov/apex/f?p=138:1:6584635885917) for domestic sites and the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency (geonames.nga.mil/namesgaz/) for international sites, to find coordinates for named places and areas. In the case of labels with a location written as a distance from a named place, ex. “2 mi SE of Albany”, two options were used. Where the location was within 3 miles of a named place, the coordinates of the named place were used as above; where the location was more than 3 miles of a named place, the coordinates were estimated by measuring that exact distance in that exact cardinal direction from the designated border of the named place using Google Maps.

Some fact sheets do not include maps because geographical coordinate data was not available to be shared by the authors. Please read referenced literature to find specific locality information of known species.