Family common name: common sawflies
Genus: Eriocampidea Ashmead, 1898
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 Selandriinae subfamily are relatively small and slender. The range of Selandriinae is worldwide; it occurs on all continents except Antarctica (Goulet 1992). It is the most common and diverse group of tenthredinids in tropical regions, particularly in Central America, South America, and Southeast Asia (Smith 1969e). Selandriinae contains the only known sawflies that feed on non-vascular plants, specifically ferns (Smith et al. 2013).The subfamily can be distinguished from other subfamilies by wing venation (Goulet 1992).
Eriocampidea are small, about 5 mm in length, and are sexually dimorphic; females of both species are black and white, while the males are orange and black. The genus is a southwestern fern-feeding sawfly (Smith 1969e).
Eriocampidea can be confused with similar species in the subfamily Selandriinae or tribe Strongylogastrini. It can be distinguished from closely related Thrinax and Strongylogaster by the lack of an occipital ridge and short antennae (Smith 1969e).
In North America, Eriocampidea feeds on Pteridium aquilinum (bracken fern) (Smith and Lawton 1980).
Female E. arizonensis deposit eggs on recent fern growth at high elevation (8000–9000 feet) meadow sites. After hatching, larvae feed on apices of pinnae, concentrated at the apex of the frond. Larvae are green with a light brown head capsule, about 13 mm in length. Feeding behavior can result in extensive damage to the plant. Eriocampidea arizonensis is bivoltine (Smith and Lawton 1980).
North America: Eriocampidea arizonensis occurs in the southwestern United States and northern Mexico, specifically recorded in Arizona, New Mexico, and Durango. Eriocampidea chiapesensis occurs in southern Mexico, recorded from Chiapas, Michoacán, and Oaxaca (Smith 1969e, Smith and Lawton 1980).
Map data from: GBIF.org (29 October 2019) GBIF Occurrence Download Eriocampidea and the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History Entomology Collection (USNM)
Details about data used for maps can be found here.