Prolatus

Taxonomy

Family: Tenthredinidae
Family common name: common sawflies
Subfamily: Heterarthrinae
Tribe: Fenusini
Genus: Prolatus D.R. Smith, 1967
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 Heterarthrinae subfamily are generally small and dark-colored. Many species of this family are economic pests of trees and shrubs and can be characterized by their skeletonizing or leaf-mining larval feeding behaviors. Heterarthrinae adults can be distinguished from those of other subfamilies by wing venation (Smith 1971a).

Prolatus is monotypic (Taeger et al. 2010). Prolatus artus females are very small, about 3.8 mm in length, and entirely black with minute white hairs evenly distributed along the body. The male for this species is not known (Smith 1967c).

Diversity

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

Diagnostic characteristics

Subfamily characters

Genus characters​

May be confused with

Prolatus can be confused with other genera in the subfamily, especially similar genus Fenusa. It can be distinguished by the lack of tarsal claw basal lobe, long fore tarsus, and long, slender antennae (Smith 1967c).

Exotic pest species of concern

none

Host associations

The only confirmed host of P. artus is Dichelostemma capitatum (bluedicks). This is the only known monocot host of a Fenusini leaf-mining sawfly (Eiseman and Smith 2019).

Life history

The complete biology of P. artus is unknown. Larvae move from leaf apex towards the base, eating all the inner leaf tissue and leaving a trail of frass. At maturity, the prepupae fall to the soil to burrow and pupate or possibly overwinter (Eiseman and Smith 2019).

Distribution

World: This genus is known only from North America (Taeger et al. 2010)

North America: Prolatus artus occurs in Oregon and Arizona (Smith 1967c, Eiseman and Smith 2019).

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

Details about data used for maps can be found here.

Prolatus artus female lateral habitus; photo by J. Orr, WSDA

Prolatus artus female lateral habitus; photo by J. Orr, WSDA

Prolatus artus female dorsal habitus; photo by J. Orr, WSDA

Prolatus artus female dorsal habitus; photo by J. Orr, WSDA

Prolatus artus female face; photo by Q. Baine, WSDA

Prolatus artus female face; photo by Q. Baine, WSDA

Prolatus artus male lateral habitus; photo by J. Orr, WSDA

Prolatus artus male lateral habitus; photo by J. Orr, WSDA

Prolatus artus male dorsal habitus; photo by J. Orr, WSDA

Prolatus artus male dorsal habitus; photo by J. Orr, WSDA

Prolatus artus male face; photo by Q. Baine, WSDA

Prolatus artus male face; photo by Q. Baine, WSDA