Taxonomic placing: Insecta, Holometabola, Hymenoptera, Symphyta.

Common name: Stem sawflies.

Morphology: Slender insects with a laterally compressed body, mostly black but with some yellow segments, a large prothorax and long antennae. Larvae apodous, but with reduced, leg-like thoractic tubercles.

Life history: A family of about 100 species of which most are stem borers in various plants, especially grasses. The adults are slow fliers that visit flowers.

Economic importance: Middle Eastern pests include Cephus pygmaeus L. and Trachelus tabidus (Fabricius).


Çalmasur, Ö. and Özbek, H. 2010. Distribution data on the Cephidae (Hymenoptera: Symphyta) fauna of Turkey. Zoology in the Middle East 50: 144-146.

Gol’berg, A.M. 1986. Biology of the stem sawflies Trachelus tabidus and Cephus pygmaeus in the Negev of southern Israel. Entomologia Experimentalis et Applicata 40: 117–121.

Liston, A.D. and Jacobs, H.-J. 2012. Review of the sawfly fauna of Cyprus, with descriptions of two new species (Hymenoptera: Symphyta). Zoology in the Middle East 56: 67–84.

Websites: https://www.google.co.il/search?q=Cephidae&espv=2&biw=835&bih=525&tbm=isch&tbo=u&source=univ&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwjs4JfL3abJAhUCVhoKHXuJDmMQsAQIGw&dpr=1.5