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UK Nature  > Sawflies  > Arge berberidis

Scientific Name:   Arge berberidis
Common Name:   Berberis Sawfly

Arge berberidis, or the Berberis Sawfly, is widespread in England, especially in the south-east, but spreading rapidly north and west. It was first recorded in the UK as recently as 2002; it is native to central and eastern Europe, Caucasus, Transcaucasus, Siberia and central Asia.

Caterpillar-like larvae up to 18mm long, creamy white with black spots and yellow blotches. Adults 7-9mm long, blue-ish black with dark grey wings and upswept antennae. The larvae defoliate host plants (most frequently Berberis thunbergii and its cultivars, also other Berberis and Mahonia).

Mainly found in gardens, parks etc as such habitats are where its food plants are most often be found. However, as it does feed on native Barberry, it may also be found in hedgerows and scrub, especially on calcareous soils.
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