Do you remember my world-first insect discovery last October? The first Berberis sawfly larvae ever to be spotted in Yorkshire! Well, it could be that they are now back, in their adult form!
Since Saturday 16 June, I have been noticing up to 7 of these black sawflies on and around the berberis bush that the larvae were eating last autumn.
I sent some photos to insect expert Andrew Halstead at the Royal Horticultural Society, to see if he could identify them for me. (You’ll remember he wrote an article about Berberis sawfly in the UK – including a mention of my sighting – for the Sawfly Study Group Newsletter in January of this year.)
“These pictures are all of Arge sp sawflies and could be Arge berberidis, particularly if they are seen in the vicinity of its host plants (Berberis and Mahonia).”
So, these could well be the first adult Berberis sawflies (Arge berberidis) ever recorded in Yorkshire! I’m going to send some samples to the Natural History Museum in London to have them identified for certain!