Family common name: common sawflies
Genus: Waldheimia Brulle, 1846
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).
Waldheimia are about 6.5–8.5 mm in length, and many species are orange with black markings and darkened wings (Smith 1969d). The genus is most species-rich in the Neotropical region (Taeger et al. 2018).
In the Blennocampinae monograph (Smith 1969d), Erythraspides is treated as a separate genus. The two genera have since been synonymized, and the keys to species of both genera can be used for species determination of Waldheimia (Taeger et al. 2010).
Waldheimia can be distinguished from other genera in the subfamily Blennocampinae by the lack of pulvilli on the basal tarsomeres and by short apical antennal segments, and from closely related Halidamia by the straight apex of fore wing veins 2A and 3A (Smith 1969d).
North of Mexico, W. carbonaria feeds on Oenothera missouriensis (Missouri primrose) (Smith and Williams 2014), and W. vitis feeds on Vitis sp. (grape) (Smith 1969d). In Central America, hosts include Saurauia montana, Cissus alata (grape ivy), Cissus rhombiflora (grape ivy), Cissus verticillata (princess vine), and Davilla nitida (Smith 1995, Smith et al. 2013, Smith and Williams 2014, Smith and Nishida 2019).
Waldheimia carbonaria is an external leaf feeder with more than one generation per year. The larvae are pale green and feed on the leaves near the mid vein. This species has been recorded defoliating entire plants. Waldheimia are recorded as pupating “naked,” meaning they don’t burrow or spin a cocoon and instead pupate inside the shed skin of the prepupa (Smith et al. 2013, Smith and Williams 2014).
World: This genus is restricted to the Western Hemisphere and occurs in North and South America as far south as Argentina, including Central America and the Caribbean Islands (Taeger et al. 2010, Smith et al. 2013, Taeger et al. 2018).
North America: Waldheimia occurs in southeastern Canada, and throughout the continental United States east of the Rocky Mountains and south into Arizona and Texas in the west (Smith 1969d). Waldheimia species also occur in Central America, including Guatemala, Costa Rica, and Panama, and in Trinidad (Rohwer 1912, Smith et al. 2013, Taeger et al. 2018).
Map data from: GBIF.org (29 October 2019) GBIF Occurrence Download Waldheimia and the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History Entomology Collection (USNM)
Details about data used for maps can be found here.