A superb introduction to Sawflies was presented by Andrew Halstead via the Tanyptera Trust in autumn 2020 and makes a very good starting point for getting into Symphyta.
Interest in Sawflies is growing and whereas in the past recorders have been limited to the keys of Benson, there is an increasing amount of extra resources to aid with identification becoming available recently, especially online.
R.B.Benson's three part key (1951-1958) remains the main port of call for identifying Sawflies and can be accessed via the following links...
RES Handbooks for the identification of British insects Hymenoptera Vol. 6 2. Symphyta Section (a)
RES Handbooks for the identification of British insects Hymenoptera Vol. 6 2. Symphyta Section (b)
RES Handbooks for the identification of British insects Hymenoptera Vol. 6 2. Symphyta Section (c)
Steven Falk has expanded his Flickr photographic insect site to include (as at February 2020) the Symphytan families Argidae, Blasticotomidae, Cephidae, Cimbicidae, Megalodontesidae, Diprionidae, Orussidae, Pamphiliidae, Siricidae, Xyelidae and Xiphydriidae. Among the Tenthredininae, the following genera are covered...Aglaostigma, Cytisogaster, Macrophya, Pachyprotasis, Perineura, Rhogogaster, Sciapteryx, Tenthredo, and Tenthredopsis. Among the Selandriinae, the following are covered...Aneugmenus, Birka, Brachythops, Nesoselandria, Pseudohemitaxonus, Selandria, Strongylogaster and Stromboceros. They can be accessed here...
Andrew Green has started up a site for the Sawflies (Symphyta) of Britain and Ireland, with details of all species, photos of some, and maps for all. Usefully, it is already updated for the many recent taxonomic changes within the Nematinae. Access it here...
There is also an active British and Irish Sawflies facebook group, where a number of useful files can be accessed and help with ID can be sought. It can be accessed here...
I am interested in receiving all records of Yorkshire Sawflies. Please do e-mail me on the address above with any queries. I am happy to receive specimens for ID and I shall also collect records from iRecord. Be aware on the latter, though, that many sawflies cannot easily be identified from photos!
BIG GARDEN SAWFLY SURVEY
A really good way to get into sawflies would be to concentrate on those in a garden, and there is a useful guide to species that might be found here.