argid sawflies

(Arge spp.)

argid sawfly (Arge sp.)
Photo by Alfredo Colon

Arge is a genus of argid sawflies. It occurs in North America, Europe, Asia, and southern Africa. It occurs throughout North America but is most common east of the Great Plains and west of the Rocky Mountains. There are more than 200 Arge species worldwide, 36 species in the Western Hemisphere, at least 12 species in North America north of Mexico, and at least 6 species in Minnesota.

Larvae feed on the foliage of shrubs and trees. They can be identified by the plant species on which they are found. Adults are active from spring to mid-summer. They visit flowers of many plants, not just host species. The female lays eggs on the leaves of a host plant, usually in rows on the margins.


Arge sawflies are relatively stout-bodied but small typical sawflies, no more than 916 (14 mm) in length.

The antennae have three segments. On the male the third segment is very long and straight, not divided and not U-shaped.

On the middle and hind legs the fourth segment (tibia) has a spine near the tip (preapical). The last part of the leg (tarsus), corresponding to the foot, has two claws at the tip. The claws are simple, not cleft.

On the forewing the basal anal cell is present. On the hindwing the anal cell is present. On both wings, the cell R1, near the apex, is closed.


Distribution Map



24, 27, 29, 30, 82.



Hymenoptera (ants, bees, wasps, and sawflies)  


Symphyta (sawflies, horntails, and wood wasps)  


Tenthredinoidea (typical sawflies)  


Argidae (argid sawflies)  



Subordinate Taxa


argid sawfly (Arge abdominalis)

argid sawfly (Arge clavicornis)

argid sawfly (Arge coccinea)

argid sawfly (Arge cyra)

argid sawfly (Arge macleayi)

argid sawfly (Arge spiculata)

azalea argid sawfly (Arge similis)

birch sawfly (Arge pectoralis)

elm argid sawfly (Arge scapularis)

poison ivy sawfly (Arge humeralis)

rose sawfly (Arge ochropus)

willow oak sawfly (Arge quidia)






Common Names


This genus has no common name. The common name of the family Argidae is argid sawflies, and it is used here for convenience.













On insects, the last two to five subdivisions of the leg, attached to the tibia; the foot. On spiders, the last segment of the leg. Plural: tarsi.



The fourth segment of an insect leg, after the femur and before the tarsus (foot). The fifth segment of a spider leg or palp.






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Alfredo Colon

    argid sawfly (Arge sp.)   argid sawfly (Arge sp.)  








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  Alfredo Colon

Location: Woodbury, Minnesota

argid sawfly (Arge sp.)







Created: 7/13/2022

Last Updated:

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