Family common name: common sawflies
Genus: Periclista Konow, 1886
Subgenera: Periclista, Neocharactus
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 subfamily Blennocampinae have a diverse set of life histories and habits. Many species are restricted to subtropical and tropical regions, but the genus is still fairly species-rich in North America. Blennocampinae includes many sawflies that feed on ornamental and forestry crops. This subfamily can be recognized by wing venation and bidentate mandibles (Smith 1969d).
Periclista is fairly species-rich in the subfamily Blennocampinae. Periclista species are diverse, with a wide distribution. The majority of species are associated with oak trees (Stannard 1949).
Periclista can be confused with similar species in the subfamily Blennocampinae. It can be distinguished from most other genera by the long inner tarsal claw tooth and membranous area on the anepimeron. The male peripheral vein will easily distinguish the subgenus Periclista (Smith 1969d).
Periclista albipennis is a pest of Quercus suber (cork oak) in Portugal, where larvae occur in high numbers and feed heavily on the foliage (Azevedo 1962). Periclista andrei is a pest of Quercus ilex (holly oak) in Spain (Toimil 1987). Severe damage to Quercus infectoria (Aleppo oak) has been inflicted by an unidentified Periclista in Iran, in some cases resulting in complete defoliation (Tavakoli et al. 2017).
In North America, Periclista feeds on Quercus (oak) species including Quercus ilicifolia (bear oak), Quercus rubra (northern red oak), Quercus macrocarpa (bur oak), Quercus coccinea (scarlet oak), Quercus alba (white oak), Quercus montana (chestnut oak), Quercus wislizeni (interior live oak), and Quercus agrifolia (coast live oak) (Stannard 1949, Smith 1969d, Smith 2011). One species, P. marginicollis, feeds on Carya (pecan) (Stannard 1949, Goulet 1992).
Adults of some species occur in high abundance where hosts are common. Females oviposit into fairly mature leaf buds. Larvae feed externally on the leaves of the host plant. Larvae in most instars are light yellow-green and covered in many black-tipped spines. At maturity, larvae fall to the ground, burrow into the soil, and overwinter in soil cells. Studied species are univoltine (Beer 1955).
World: This genus is known from North America, South America in Argentina and Chile, throughout Europe, and in North Africa, western Asia, Taiwan, China, and Japan (Smith 1984, Smith et al. 2002, Taeger et al. 2018).
North America: Periclista occurs throughout the continental United States and in southern Canada (Smith 1969d).
Map data from: GBIF.org (29 October 2019) GBIF Occurrence Download Periclista
Details about data used for maps can be found here.