Cimbicid Sawfly

Glacier Bee/wasp?
July 13, 2009
Hi there, I’m Shannon from Alaska. I took my friend hiking on Byron Glacier today and found a bee like creature… on the ice! I wasn’t sure at first if he melted out of there or was taking a rest but I’ve never seen anything like him around here. I was hoping you could help?
Shannon from Alaska
Byron Glacier/Portage Alaska

probably Elm Sawfly

Hi Shannon,
Mistaking this Sawfly for a Bee or Wasp is understandable since Bees, Wasps and Sawflies are all in the same order of insects, Hymenoptera.  Sawflies do not sting.  We cannot say for sure what species or even what genus your specimen belongs to, but we are confident it is one of the Cimbicid Sawflies in the family Cimbicidae.  According to BugGuide:  “Adults robust, resemble bumble bees. Base of abdomen broadly joined to thorax (no wasp waist). Antennae have seven or fewer segments, slightly clubbed.
”  Your specimen is robust and has clubbed antennae.  The larvae of Cimbicid Sawflies are often confused with caterpillars because of their appearance and because they feed on foliage. BugGuide lists three genera in the family, and all are represented in the western portion of Canada.  At first we thought this might be an Elm Sawfly which is reported from Canada, but now, because all the examples of Elm Sawflies on BugGuide show yellow antennae, we believe this might be a Honeysuckle Sawfly, Trichiosoma triangulum, and BugGuide has an image posted from Montana that looks very similar.

Update from Eric Eaton
The sawfly with the cigarette lighter is, besides causing trouble (ha!), probably Cimbex pacifica.

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