Cimbex americana



This is the largest North American sawfly.  The adult is over an inch in length.  The head, eyes and thorax are shiny black.  Males can have all black or red-brown abdomens.  Females have black abdomens with white to pale yellow markings which seem to mimic hornets.  Both sexes have a prominent white oval in the center of the upper abdomen.  The antennae are clubbed and orange in color.  The femur and tibia are black and the tarsus is orange.  Wings are brown.  The larva is almost 2 inches in length.  It is yellowish to white with a black dorsal stripe.


The frequency of occurrence of the Elm Sawfly in Fontenelle Forest and Neale woods is unknown at this time.  The individual pictured here was photographed in Child’s Hollow in Fontenelle Forest in early May.  The adults are flying in May and June.


The larva eats elm and willow.   At rest the larva rolls into a tight coil.  It has a defensive fluid it squirts from glands located above the spiracles.  This insect overwinters in a cocoon and adults emerge in the spring.

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Elm Sawfly

Elm Sawfly

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