The Pergidae

The Pergidae are, after the Tenthredinidae and Argidae, the third largest family of Symphyta (sawflies and wood wasps). Their morphology, habits, and food plants show a diversity which is not found in any other family of the Symphyta.

Adult of Perga dorsalis (Hymenoptera: Pergidae) and larvae feeding on leaves of Eucalyptus citriodora.*

The Pergidae show a Gondwanan distribution. Most species occur in South America and Australia, but no species is known from South Africa. They are the dominant sawfly family in Australia and, with the Tenthredinidae and Argidae, are one of the major families in the Neotropical region.

This website provides full information on original descriptions, synonyms, taxonomic changes, recorded distribution, phylogeny, parasitoids and food plant data. If available there is information about the biology of species. For a few, mainly Australian species, images are available.

The online catalogue includes all 441 currently valid species of Pergidae, with 34 genera and 276 species for the Western Hemisphere, and 26 genera and 165 species for the Australasian Region. Of the 165 Australasian species, 140 occur in Australia and 23 species are confined to Indonesia (Sulawesi, West Papua) and Papua New Guinea.

Original reference

The information provided in this website was originally based on the printed world catalogue of the Pergidae. The online version has been regularly updated with information that became available after publication of the catalogue.

The printed catalogue was published as a Contribution of the American Entomological Institute, the only definitive repository for the content that has been certified and accepted after peer review. Copyright and all rights therein are retained by the American Entomological Institute. This material may not be copied or reposted without explicit permission. Copyright © 2006 by American Entomological Institute.

The catalogue is available for download as PDF.

Recommended citation

Schmidt, S. & Smith, D.R. [year of last update]. Pergidae of the World – an online catalogue of the sawfly family Pergidae (Insecta, Hymenoptera, Symphyta). World Wide Web electronic publication.

*Illustration from: Bennett, G. & Scott, A.W. 1859. Description of a species of Perga, or Saw-fly, found feeding upon the Eucalyptus citriodora of Hooker, or wide bay Lemon-scented Gum-tree. Proceedings of the Zoological Society of London 27: 209-212.

Website concept and design

Stefan Schmidt (

Last updated: 21-Aug-2021