Cimbex femoratus

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Birch sawfly
Cimbex femoratus adult.jpg
Adult Cimbex femoratus
Cimbicidae - Cimbex cf. femoratus..jpg
Cimbex cf. femoratus. Larva
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Hymenoptera
Suborder: Symphyta
Superfamily: Tenthredinoidea
Family: Cimbicidae
Genus: Cimbex
Species: C. femoratus
Binomial name
Cimbex femoratus
(Linnaeus, 1758)
  • Cimbex betulae Zaddach, 1863
  • Cimbex betulae var. feminae flavo-maculata Zaddach, 1863
  • Cimbex betulae var. flavomaculata Zaddach, 1863
  • Cimbex betulae var. nigra Zaddach, 1863
  • Cimbex betulae var. pulla Zaddach, 1863
  • Cimbex biguetina Lepeletier, 1833
  • Cimbex europaea Leach, 1817
  • Cimbex fagi Konow, 1897
  • Cimbex femorata ab. flavitegula Stroganova, 1973
  • Cimbex femorata ab. fuscescens Stroganova, 1973

Cimbex femoratus, the birch sawfly, is a species of sawflies in the family Cimbicidae.


  • Cimbex femoratus var. griffinii Leach, 1817
  • Cimbex femoratus var. pallens Lepeletier, 1823
  • Cimbex femoratus var. silvarum Fabricius, 1793
  • Cimbex femoratus var. varians Leach, 1817


Cimbex femoratus can reach a length of 17–23 millimetres (0.67–0.91 in). The head is large, with large and strong mandibles. Wings are smoky brown with brown margins. The thorax is shiny black. The shiny black abdomen shows a whitish band and a large red-brown band, especially in males. The antennae are black at the base and yellow-orange at the tip. Even the last leg segments are yellowish. The adults fly in May to August.

Larvae are pale bluish-green, about 45 mm long and they look very similar to caterpillars. On the back they usually have a dark, narrow bluish longitudinal stripe. They can be found between June and September and feed exclusively from birch leaves (Betula sp.)


They are widespread throughout Europe and Siberia.


These sawflies prefer areas where Birch trees can be found.


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