Location: Victoria, Australia
February 11, 2011 11:16 pm
This winged insect landed on a leaf, it was very docile and was very easy to take a photo of as it did not try to fly away.
Was seen in Victoria, Australia, summer season, weather conditions were slightly overcast, slight wind.
I would like with your help to identify this insect, thanks.
Though the markings on the abdomen of your specimen are a little different, we believe there are enough similarities between your specimen and the Meleleuca Sawfly, Lophyrotoma zonalis, posted on Oz Animals to deduce that this is either a color variation or a closely related species. Sawflies are non-stinging relatives of Bees and Wasps, and many species can be of significant concern because when the larvae which resemble caterpillars are plentiful, they can defoliate cultivated as well as native trees. The photos of this species on the Brisbane Insect Website, where it is identified as the Paperbark Sawfly, show yet another color variation with an very orange abdomen.
We have decided to post all three of your images.
Hi Daniel and Al:
As far as I can tell, the Long-tailed sawfly group (Pergidae: Pterygophorinae) has only two relatively small genera, Lophyrotoma and Pterygophorus, both limited to Australia and Papua New Guinea. Superficially the genera appear to be distinguished primarily by the pattern of orange on the abdomen and perhaps the presence/absence or degree of white coloration at the base of the antennae. Based on these characteristics, I believe this one may be a species of Pterygophorus, of which there are only two that make it as far south as Victoria. It looks very similar to P. cinctus (Bottlebrush Sawfly), but I was not able to find an image or description of P. facielongus. The males of all species have extravagantly pectinate antennae, so this one looks like a female. Final note – I also found several sites where the Bottlebrush sawfly is referred to as Phylacteophaga cinctus (Phylacteophaginae), but I believe this is an older synonym. Regards. Karl
Nice sleuthing Karl. It appears you have nailed the Bottlebrush Sawfly identification.