Xiphydriidae

Taxonomy

Superfamily: Siricoidea
Family: Xiphydriidae
Family common name: xiphydriid sawflies
Subfamilies: Derecyrtinae, Xiphydriinae

Background

The family Xiphydriidae is represented by one genus in North America, Xiphydria. Xiphydria is uncommon and is a wood borer of little economic importance (Smith and Middlekauff 1987).

Diversity

Xiphydriidae includes 28 genera and 146 species worldwide. A single genus and 11 species are Nearctic in distribution (Taeger et al. 2018).

North American genera

Xiphydria

Diagnostic characteristics

Host associations

In North America, Xiphydria feed on various species of common deciduous trees (Goulet 1992).

May be confused with

Xiphydriidae can be distinguished from other Siricoidea families by the distinctly round head, the constricted pronotum, and the elongated propleuron, or “neck” (Goulet 1992).

Life history

Xiphydriidae in North America are wood borers. Because the larvae bore into mostly dead or damaged tree limbs, Xiphydria is not considered to cause economic damage and is more likely a secondary pest. The life history is not well-known (Smith and Middlekauff 1987).

Distribution

World: The range of the family includes Europe, Asia, North and South America, Australia, and New Zealand (Goulet 1992).

North America: Xiphydria is known from the eastern United States and Canada. One species occurs in British Columbia and Oregon (Smith and Middlekauff 1987).

Xiphydria mellipes male lateral habitus; photo by J. Orr, WSDA

Xiphydria mellipes male lateral habitus; photo by J. Orr, WSDA

Xiphydria prolongata female lateral habitus; photo by J. Orr, WSDA

Xiphydria prolongata female lateral habitus; photo by J. Orr, WSDA