Diprionidae

Taxonomy

Superfamily: Tenthrediniodea
Family: Diprionidae
Family common name: conifer sawflies
Subfamilies: Diprioninae, Monoctinae

Background

The family Diprionidae, the conifer sawflies, are common in forested regions of the world. The family include several economic pests, including some introduced species, that can severely damage important forestry tree species (Smith and Middlekauff 1987). They can be recognized by characteristic stout bodies and comb-like or saw-like antennae (Goulet 1992).

Diversity

Diprionidae includes 13 genera and 140 species worldwide. Six genera and 54 species are Nearctic in distribution (Taeger et al. 2018).

North American genera

Augomonoctenus
Diprion
Gilpinia
Monoctenus
Neodiprion
Zadiprion

Diagnostic characteristics

Host associations

In North America, Diprionidae feed on conifer trees, generally in the families Pinaceae and Cupressaceae (Smith and Middlekauff 1987).

May be confused with

Sawflies in this family are similar in form to families in the superfamily Tenthredinoidea: Pergidae, Argidae, and Tenthredinidae. Diprionidae can be distinguished by the number of antennal segments and the distinctive antennal forms (Goulet 1992).

Life history

Diprionidae in North America are generally gregarious external needle feeders. Several species in the subfamily Diprioninae especially are known for complete defoliation of the host. One species is known to feed inside developing cones of the host (Smith and Middlekauff 1987).

Distribution

World: The family most common in boreal regions of North America, Europe, and Asia, with some range expansions south into North Africa, India, and Thailand (Goulet 1992).

North America: Diprionidae occurs throughout the United States and Canada, and south into Central America and the Caribbean Islands (Smith and Middlekauff 1987, Goulet 1992).

Neodiprion abietis female lateral habitus; photo by J. Orr, WSDA

Neodiprion abietis female lateral habitus; photo by J. Orr, WSDA

Diprion similis male lateral habitus; photo by J. Orr, WSDA

Diprion similis male lateral habitus; photo by J. Orr, WSDA

Zadiprion rohweri female lateral habitus; photo by J. Orr, WSDA

Zadiprion rohweri female lateral habitus; photo by J. Orr, WSDA

Monoctenus sp. male lateral habitus; photo by J. Orr, WSDA

Monoctenus sp. male lateral habitus; photo by J. Orr, WSDA