Whilst in the garden this weekend, I found this large winged insect in my wildlife area next to the birdbath. At first I wondered if it was a hornet or queen wasp but used my ID books and sent a picture to my friend who is a wasp expert and realised that it was neither, which left me at a loss but he believes it to be a giant sawfly and potentially a very rare one, similar to the one discovered in Radley a few years ago.
This insect has no waist and was around 7cm in length with a significant wingspan also. Most of the time it just sat on the foliage, but it did start wandering around slowly and certainly seemed aware of my housemate as he took these pictures, though it was not agressive.
I hope that you will be able to help.
Wow! what a find. but are you sure about 70mm the Radley giant sawfly was 23mm long. A 70mm Sawfly would have a wingspan around 100mm (5in).
Thanks for the speedy response. Yes you are quite right, and that is my error. Sorry about that. About 40mm is what I believe to be the size. Somewhere between 30mm and 40mm for sure.
Do you believe it to be a sawfly?
I would say that this is pretty certainly Cimbex connatus The Giant Alder Sawfly., but I would wait for one of the NHM experts to confirm.
Wow I am amazed. Yes I also emailed them lastnight, so I hope that someone from the NHM will be able to confirm. Really appreciate your input. I had walked down the garden to check my birdfeeders before I began the latest wildlife survey for the RSPB. There wasn't any where for me to record this on their survey, but it seems now that it's even more significant. I always try and pay attention to the smaller things and details whereever I am and learn new species when I encounter them, but this is quite a discovery by my standards. Incredible!
If you want to see more pictures or have any other questions I will do my best to answer them.
Hi Nicky heres a link to someone with a special interest in Sawflies he will be very interested in this. He has identified some for me in the past.
Sawfly (Hymenoptera: Symphyta) Recorder:
Mr Guy Knight
c/o Entomology Section, World Museums Liverpool,
William Brown Street, Liverpool, Merseyside, L3 8EN
Tel.: 0151 207 0001
Just to confirm what Lewis has said: Cimbex connatus.
Thank you Florin. I'm pleased I walked down the garden when I did.
Hi Nicky I hope you dont mind Ive sent a copy of the photos you posted here to Guy Knight at liverpool along with copy of this thread so he can take a look, hopefully he will contact you soon
Thanks very much for your help CKMerlin. I don't have a problem with that at all. I have been making soup and was just about to message him myself. I hope I will hear from Guy soon and hopefully be able to provide him with more information that he might require.