The Sawfly (Taxonus pallipes) is an insect in the Allantinae subfamily and Tenthredinidae family of sawflies. It is related to ants, bees, and wasps.

The Sawfly has a black, shiny, elongated soft body with long antennae. It does not have a wasp-thin waist. Instead, it has a broad connection between the abdomen (stomach) and the thorax (chest). It has wings with dark veins.


It measures about 2 centimetres (less than one inch) in length. 

The Sawfly is found all over the world, except Antarctica and New Zealand. 

It is an herbivore, a plant-eating insect. 

The female Sawfly lays eggs in groups on the leaves of plants. Her tail has an ovipositor, which looks like the stinger of a bee, but it is not a stinger. It is used to lay eggs. She also uses it to cut up leaves to make her nest.

The eggs hatch into larvae after 14-56 days. The larvae (grubs) look like little caterpillars. However, caterpilars have four pairs of prolegs (front legs) on their abdominal section, whereas the Sawfly larvae have five pairs of prolegs. The larvae feed on leaves and can live for months or years until they pupate (like a cocoon) in tunnels in the bark of trees. The adult Sawfly emerges from the pupa.

Most Sawflies are females. Males are rare.

The life expectancy of the adult Sawfly is about 7-9 days. 


Location of photographs: Paris, France

Photographer: Martina Nicolls


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