‘Yes it’s definitely Zorro’, confirmed Andy, a county sawfly recorder, when he took a look at these photos on Twitter on Tuesday. Andy was not, of course, referring to the legendary fictional character of book, television series and movie, but to the creature that created, in the leaves of Wych elm, these characteristic feeding marks that resemble the trademark ‘Z’ signature the big screen version of Zorro left at the scene of his adventures.
Zorro, in this case, is the Elm zigzag sawfly (Aproceros leucopoda) and my photos are the first records for this species in Wales. The find is a double-edged sword (see what I did there?), as this sawfly is considered an invasive species, though I am assured by those who have been following its spread in England that the damage it does is not as considerable as first feared. I hope to spot the larvae that do this damage sometime next year.