Anoplonyx

Taxonomy

Family: Tenthredinidae
Family common name: common sawflies
Subfamily: Nematinae
Tribe: Nematini
Genus: Anoplonyx Marlatt, 1896
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).

Nematinae is the second-largest subfamily of Tenthredinidae, with over 1,250 species (Prous et al. 2014). They are most diverse in northern Eurasia and North America; only a few species occur in the Southern Hemisphere. Nematinae sawflies have a variety of feeding habits including external leaf feeding, leaf mining, and gall forming, and feed on a variety of hosts (Smith 2003b).

The Nematinae have been subject to numerous revisions in recent years. As of 2021, there are no comprehensive keys to many of the North American species of Nematinae (Prous et al. 2014). Because of changing taxonomy and extreme variability in morphology, identifying genera and species in the Nematinae may be more challenging than in other subfamilies of Tenthredindae. For this reason, knowing the host or behaviors of a specimen can be extremely helpful for identification within this subfamily.

Anoplonyx are about 5 mm in length and mostly black in color, with variable pale markings and clear wings (Bracken 1961).

Diversity

There are 12 described species worldwide. Four species occur in North America (Taeger et al. 2018).

Diagnostic characteristics

Subfamily characters​

Genus characters​

May be confused with

Anoplonyx can be distinguished from other genera of Nematinae that have fore wing vein 2A+3A curved upwards by the symmetrical outer surfaces of the mandibles, the connection of vein 2m-cu to cell 1Rs, and the tarsal claw without an inner tooth (Goulet 1992).

Exotic pest species of concern

Anoplonyx destructor is known to be a pest in the United Kingdom on Larix decidua (European larch), Larix kaempferi (Japanese larch), and hybrids. Though infestations occur, damage is rarely severe (Crooke 1953).

Host associations

Anoplonyx feeds on species of Larix (larch), including Larix occidentalis (western larch) and Larix laricina (tamarack) (Goulet 1992).

Life history

Females oviposit into small slits cut into the needles of the host, usually one egg per needle. Larvae are green with dark stripes (Bracken 1961). At maturity, larvae fall to the ground and spin cocoons in the leaf litter, where they overwinter and subsequently pupate in the spring (Crooke 1953).

Distribution

World: The genus is known from North America, central, northern, and eastern Europe, through Russia, Mongolia, China, and Japan (Taeger et al. 2018).

North America: Anoplonyx occurs throughout Canada, as far north as Yukon (Woods 1962), and throughout the northern United States, with a southern extension into Mississippi (GBIF).

Map data from: GBIF.org (29 October 2019) GBIF Occurrence Download Anoplonyx

Details about data used for maps can be found here.

Anoplonyx occidens female lateral habitus; photo by J. Orr, WSDA

Anoplonyx occidens female lateral habitus; photo by J. Orr, WSDA

Anoplonyx occidens female face; photo by Q. Baine, WSDA

Anoplonyx occidens female face; photo by Q. Baine, WSDA

Anoplonyx occidens male lateral habitus; photo by J. Orr, WSDA

Anoplonyx occidens male lateral habitus; photo by J. Orr, WSDA

Anoplonyx occidens male dorsal habitus; photo by J. Orr, WSDA

Anoplonyx occidens male dorsal habitus; photo by J. Orr, WSDA

Anoplonyx occidens male face; photo by Q. Baine, WSDA

Anoplonyx occidens male face; photo by Q. Baine, WSDA

Anoplonyx sp. fore wing; photo by P. Jones, WSDA

Anoplonyx sp. fore wing; photo by P. Jones, WSDA