Wheat Stem Borer

Cephus pygmeus


Body length 6 - 9mm. There are three, very similar, Cephus species in Britain, C.nigrinus, C.pygmeus and C. spinipes. They are all black, but C. pygmeus and C. spinipes have yellow markings on the abdomen.


The larvae develop in the stems of a range of grasses, including some farmed cereals. The adults are often seen on buttercups.

Status and distribution

Common and widespread in southern Britain, as far north as Yorkshire and Lancashire. Common in Nottinghamshire and recorded infrequently at Netherfield Lagoons.

Best time to see

May to July.