Henri Goulet. 1998. Sawflies (Hymenoptera: Symphyta) in Smith, I.M., and G.G.E. Scudder, eds. Assessment of species diversity in the Montane Cordillera Ecozone. Burlington: Ecological Monitoring and Assessment Network, 1998.
Biological Resources Program
Agriculture and Agri-food Canada
Central Experimental Farm
Sawflies belongs to the order Hymenoptera which consists of insects related to bees, wasps,and ants. Contrary to these insect groups, sawflies are not using their ovipositor to sting with. Among the Hymenoptera, sawflies are easily recognized by the abdomen being broadly joined to the thorax, the cenchri (structure acting as Velcro pads to keep the fore wings folded over the abdomen) developed on the metanotum, the anal cell developed on the fore wing, and the medially divided tergum 1 of the abdomen in almost all species. The recorded diversity of the ecozone is moderately diverse.
Sawfly sampling in the ecozone is rather recent. Most of the significant collections were done in the past 50 years. Sampling efforts were intensified in the 1960's and renewed in the 1980's. I tried hard building our knowledge of sawflies for this region as few amateurs and professionals studied them. Since 1980, I have made five expeditions centred around high elevations sites (Manning Provincial Park at the northern end of the Cascades, Mount Revelstoke National Park, Peter Lougheed Provincial Park, and Waterton Lakes National Parks). Because of very short periods of intensive sampling with limited methods, few localities were sampled. Despite the many collectors sampling these regions, the general pattern has been in line with the hit and run approach producing a useful and yet a rather incomplete picture of the sawflies of the region. Contrary to a study on the sawflies of the Mixed Wood Plain Ecozone (Goulet, 1996b), only one site near Salmon Arm was sampled for a complete season. The moderate diversity reported here is not reflecting the reality for the region especially for most of the ecoregions of the ecozone. Thus, the range of most sawflies in the ecozone is only a very rough outline.
The following information on the sawfly biodiversity for Montane Cordillera Ecozone is from the literature and our holdings at the Canadian National Collection of Insects and Arachnids. The sawfly taxonomy is generally in excellent state for most of the genera included here (Gibson, 1980a, 1980b,Goulet, 1986, 1992, Middlekauff, 1984, Smith, 1969a, 1969b, 1971, 1979a, 1979b, 1986, 1989, Smith and Gibson, 1984, Wong, 1977).
TABLE OF CONTENTS