Macrophya

Taxonomy

Family: Tenthredinidae
Family common name: common sawflies
Subfamily: Tenthredininae
Tribe: Macrophyini
Genus: Macrophya Dahlbom, 1835
Subgenera: Macrophya, Pseudomacrophya

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 Tenthredininae subfamily are relatively large as compared to others in the family, often with distinct colorful markings. Some are wasp-like with black and yellow stripes (Goulet 1992). Many species’ life histories are not known. Some Tenthredininae species feed uniquely, as adults, on flower pollen and other insects (Smith 1993). They can be distinguished from other subfamilies by wing venation (Goulet 1992).

Macrophya is a medium-large black sawfly often with white, yellow, or red markings. The genus is relatively species-rich and common in North America (Gibson 1980b).

Diversity

There are 231 described extant species worldwide. Forty-eight species occur in North America (Taeger et al. 2010).

Diagnostic characteristics

Subfamily characters

Genus characters

May be confused with

Macrophya can be confused with similar species in the subfamily Tenthredininae. It can be distinguished from most other genera by the expanded metepimeron, long labrum, and the centered anal crossvein (Goulet 1992).

Exotic pest species of concern

none

Host associations

Macrophya in North America feed on Rudbeckia (coneflower), Carya (hickory), Prunus (cherry, plum), Fraxinus (ash), Ligustrum (privet), Syringa (lilac), Castanea (chestnut), Viburnum, Sambucus (elderberry), Mentha (mint), Geum (avens), Plantago (plantain), Filipendula, Scrophularia (figwort), Solanum (nightshade), Senecio (ragwort), Rubus (blackberry), Geranium, Valerinana (valerian), Potentilla (cinquefoil), Aster, Carex (sedges), and some genera of grasses (Gibson 1980b, Smith and Middlekauff 1987, Goulet 1992). Macrophya nigra feeds on Dasistoma macrophylla (mullein foxglove) (Eiseman et al. 2017).

Life history

Macrophya larvae are external leaf-feeders. At maturity the prepupae fall to the ground and make a cell in the soil to overwinter (Gibson 1980b). Adults fly in the spring (Smith 1991).

Macrophya punctumalbum, commonly known as the privet sawfly, was introduced to both eastern and western Canada and is now established in British Columbia, Ontario, Quebec, and New York. The adult oviposits under the epidermis on the upper side of the leaf and the larvae feed on the leaf tissue in irregular, round holes. In large quantities, the larvae can entirely defoliate the host plant (Hoebeke and Johnson 1985). The larva of M. punctumalbum is separated from other species in the genus by its uniform bright green color (Gibson 1980b). This species actually feeds on the foliage of its host plant as an adult (Hoebeke and Johnson 1985).

Distribution

World: The genus is present throughout North America, Europe, and Asia (Gibson 1980b, Taeger et al. 2010).

North America: Macrophya occurs throughout Canada and United States, as far north as the Alaskan panhandle and extending south into Florida and Texas (Gibson 1980b).

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

Details about data used for maps can be found here.

Macrophya oregona female lateral habitus; photo by J. Orr, WSDA

Macrophya oregona female lateral habitus; photo by J. Orr, WSDA

Macrophya sp. female dorsal habitus; photo by Q. Baine, WSDA

Macrophya sp. female dorsal habitus; photo by Q. Baine, WSDA

Macrophya fumator female face; photo by Q. Baine, WSDA

Macrophya fumator female face; photo by Q. Baine, WSDA

Macrophya flavicoxae male lateral habitus; photo by J. Orr, WSDA

Macrophya flavicoxae male lateral habitus; photo by J. Orr, WSDA

Macrophya sp. male dorsal habitus; photo by Q. Baine, WSDA

Macrophya sp. male dorsal habitus; photo by Q. Baine, WSDA

Macrophya flavicoxae male face; photo by Q. Baine, WSDA

Macrophya flavicoxae male face; photo by Q. Baine, WSDA

Macrophya flavolineata wings; photo by P. Jones, WSDA

Macrophya flavolineata wings; photo by P. Jones, WSDA