Empria fletcheri ( CAMERON , 1878)

Liston, A. D., Knight, G. T., Heibo, E., Bland, K. P., Barstad, Trond Elling, Blank, S. M., Boeve, J. - L., Fiedler, K., Grearson, K. J., Halstead, A., Jacobs, H. - J., Jansen, E., Lonnve, O., Prous, M., Robinson, J. & Taeger, A., 2012, On Scottish sawflies, with results of the 14 International Sawfly Workshop, in the southern Highlands, 2010 (Hymenoptera, Symphyta), Beiträge Zur Entomologie = Contributions to Entomology 62, pp. 1-68: 36

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Empria fletcheri ( CAMERON , 1878)


Empria fletcheri ( CAMERON, 1878)  

All specimens swept from young Betula pubescens Ehrh.   that were no more than knee-high (Fig. 3). The growth of these low patches of birch may have been affected by browsing by mammals. Numerous older and taller B. pubescens   and B. pendula Roth   of all ages growing at the same site yielded no specimens, although intensively worked by several individuals.

Benson (1952) summarised British records of E. fletcheri   as: “Only found very rarely in Scotland, Perthshire: Rannoch (P. Cameron); Aberdeen: Braemar (D. Sharp); and in 1946 Inverness: Aviemore (P. Harwood, who discovered the previously unknown ♂).” The exact positions of these localities cannot be identified. Cameron (1878) gave the type locality (unknown number of female syntypes described, but external evidence suggests that there were only two) simply as “Rannoch, [and] Braemar”. Two specimens in the RSME collections were also examined: 1 ♀, “Aviemore, 28.v.1946, P. Harwood”. 1 ♂, “ Scotland. EI [East Inverness], Kincraig, 19-26.v.1952. R. B. Benson”. Apart from our new records, E. fletcheri   has not been found in Scotland since 1952.

Females are characteristically coloured: unique in European Empria   are the extensively red apical terga and sterna of the abdomen (Fig. 4). The comment by Benson (1952, p. 87, under E. immersa   ) that males of E. fletcheri   always have entirely black hind legs, does not hold for the recent Claybokie specimens (Fig. 5) or the Kincraig male, in which the tibia is basally predominantly red in all nine specimens. The extensively black metafemur (especially in medial aspect) of male E. fletcheri   does however readily distinguish it from males of E. immersa   , that in Scotland always have a completely red metafemur (except at most for the extreme base).

Penisvalves of these two species ( Fig. 6) are very similar and have not previously been distinguished from each other in the literature (e.g. Benson 1952; Zhelochovtsev & Zinovjev 1993). We have studied penisvalves of 5 E. fletcheri   and 10 E. immersa   specimens and found that there seem to be small but consistent differences between them (as indicated by the arrows in Fig. 6).

The larval foodplant(s) of E. fletcheri   are not yet known, but the collection of adults only from Betula pubescens   at Claybokie suggest that this might be a host.