Adelesta

Taxonomy

Family: Tenthredinidae
Family common name: common sawflies
Subfamily: Selandriinae
Tribe: Adelestini
Genus: Adelesta Ross, 1937

Subgenera: none

Background

The Tenthredinidae are the most species-rich family and are found throughout the world, in all continents but Antarctica. They are known as the “common sawflies.” They can generally be recognized by a cylindrical body and long, segmented antennae. Otherwise, they come in a variety of colors, sizes, and forms (Goulet 1992).

Sawflies in the Selandriinae subfamily are relatively small and slender. The range of Selandriinae is worldwide; it occurs on all continents except Antarctica (Goulet 1992). It is the most common and diverse group of tenthredinids in tropical regions, particularly in Central America, South America, and Southeast Asia (Smith 1969e). Selandriinae contains the only known sawflies that feed on non-vascular plants, specifically ferns (Smith et al. 2013). The subfamily can be distinguished from other subfamilies by wing venation (Goulet 1992).

Adelesta is monotypic and is the only North American genus of its tribe, Adelestini (Smith and Naito 2015). Adelesta nova is small, about 4.5 mm in length, and mostly black with white on the legs and distinctive serrate antennae (Smith 1969e).

Diversity

There is a single described extant species in this genus worldwide, and it is North American (Taeger et al. 2010).

Diagnostic characteristics

Subfamily characters

Genus characters

May be confused with

Adelesta can be confused with similar species in the subfamily Selandriinae. It can be distinguished from most other genera by the almost serrate antennae, centered anal crossvein in the fore wing, and the constricted first tergite (Smith 1969e, Goulet 1992).

Exotic pest species of concern

none

Host associations

unknown

Life history

unknown

Distribution

World: This genus is North American (Taeger et al. 2010).

North America: Adelesta nova occurs in eastern Canada with records in Nova Scotia, New Brunswick and Quebec (Smith 1969e). There are some records farther south in the Appalachian Mountains (Smith 2008b).

Map data from: GBIF.org (29 October 2019) GBIF Occurrence Download Adelesta and the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History Entomology Collection (USNM)

Details about data used for maps can be found here.

Adelesta nova female lateral habitus; photo by J. Orr, WSDA

Adelesta nova female lateral habitus; photo by J. Orr, WSDA

Adelesta nova female face; photo by Q. Baine, WSDA

Adelesta nova female face; photo by Q. Baine, WSDA

Adelesta nova fore wing; photo by J. Orr, WSDA

Adelesta nova fore wing; photo by J. Orr, WSDA