Taxonus

Taxonomy

Family: Tenthredinidae
Family common name: common sawflies
Subfamily: Allantinae
Tribe: Allantini
Genus: Taxonus Hartig, 1837
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 Allantinae subfamily are mostly black and shining, sometimes with other colors. They have agricultural importance as some species are pests on cultivated and ornamental plants (Smith 1979a). They can be distinguished from other subfamilies by wing venation (Smith 2003a).

Taxonus are medium-sized, about 5–10 mm in length, and generally black and orange in color. The genus is species-rich worldwide. (Smith 1979a).

Diversity

There are 62 described extant species worldwide. Nine occur in North America (Taeger et al. 2010).

A Nearctic key to species is included in Smith 1979a.

Diagnostic characteristics

Subfamily characters

Genus characters​

May be confused with

Taxonus can be confused with similar species in the subfamily Allantinae or tribe Allantini. It can be distinguished from most other genera by the asymmetrical mandibles, deep circular clypeus emargination, presence of cell M in the hind wing, and male peripheral vein I hind wing (Smith 1979a).

Exotic pest species of concern

none

Host associations

In North America, Taxonus feeds on species of Fragaria (strawberry) and Rubus (blackberry, raspberry) (Smith 1979a).

Life history

Specific biology for Taxonus species is unknown. Larvae feed singly on the underside of the leaf. At maturity prepupae burrow into the soil beneath the host to pupate. Taxonus pallicoxus and T. pallidicornis are bivoltine (Smith 1979a).

Distribution

World: This genus is known from North America, Europe, and throughout Asia (Smith 1979a, Taeger et al. 2010).

North America: Taxonus occurs mainly east of the Mississippi River, south to Texas and Florida. There are a few collections of T. pallicoxus in Alberta and British Columbia (Smith 1979a).

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

Details about data used for maps can be found here.

Taxonus terminalis female lateral habitus; photo by J. Orr, WSDA

Taxonus terminalis female lateral habitus; photo by J. Orr, WSDA

Taxonus terminalis female dorsal habitus; photo by J. Orr, WSDA

Taxonus terminalis female dorsal habitus; photo by J. Orr, WSDA

Taxonus terminalis female face; photo by Q. Baine, WSDA

Taxonus terminalis female face; photo by Q. Baine, WSDA

Taxonus terminalis male lateral habitus; photo by J. Orr, WSDA

Taxonus terminalis male lateral habitus; photo by J. Orr, WSDA

Taxonus terminalis male dorsal habitus; photo by J. Orr, WSDA

Taxonus terminalis male dorsal habitus; photo by J. Orr, WSDA

Taxonus terminalis male face; photo by Q. Baine, WSDA

Taxonus terminalis male face; photo by Q. Baine, WSDA

Taxonus terminalis fore wing; photo by J. Orr, WSDA

Taxonus terminalis fore wing; photo by J. Orr, WSDA