The leaf and stem mines of British flies and other insects
 

(Coleoptera, Diptera, Hymenoptera and Lepidoptera)

by Brian Pitkin, Willem Ellis, Colin Plant and Rob Edmunds

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Coleophora ahenella Heinemann, 1877
[Lepidoptera: Coleophoridae]

Buckthorn Case-bearer


Coleophora ahenella Heinemann, 1877. Schmett. Deutsch. Schweiz. 2 (2): 546.


Leaf-miner and case-bearer: Lobe case. The full grown case is about 7 mm long. The mouth angle is 0°, causing the case to lie flat on the leaf. The case is gradually enlarged by the addition of rings that are cut out of the epidermis. The rings become gradually larger, and stick irregularly out of the contour of the case. The rings are cut out of the lower epidermis of the mine. This implies that mines may have both normal, small openings, and large ones. Compare for instance C. violacea, that cuts rings out of the upper epidermis (Bladmineerders van Europa).

The larva feeds briefly intially and again after over wintering. It then aestivates until Autumn. It makes one case which it enlarges by adding pieces of excised lower epidermis (British leafminers).

Larva: The larvae of moths have a head capsule and chewing mouthparts with opposable mandibles (see video of a gracillarid larva feeding), six thoracic legs and abdominal legs (see examples).

The larva is illustrated in Bladmineerders van Europa.

Pupa: The pupae of moths have visible head appendages, wings and legs which lie in sheaths (see examples).

Adult: The adult is illustrated in UKMoths. The genitalia are not illustrated by the Lepidoptera Dissection Group (check for update).

Hosts in Great Britain & Ireland:

Caprifoliaceae        
Lonicera       Pitkin & Plant
Symphoricarpos       Pitkin & Plant
Viburnum lantana Wayfaring-tree British Wild Flowers by John Somerville et al. British leafminers
Viburnum lantana Wayfaring-tree British Wild Flowers by John Somerville et al. Pitkin & Plant
Cornaceae        
Cornus sanguinea Dogwood British Wild Flowers by John Somerville et al. British leafminers
Frangula alnus Alder Buckthorn British Wild Flowers by John Somerville et al. British leafminers
Frangula alnus Alder Buckthorn British Wild Flowers by John Somerville et al. Pitkin & Plant
Rhamnus catharticus Buckthorn British Wild Flowers by John Somerville et al. British leafminers
Rhamnus catharticus Buckthorn British Wild Flowers by John Somerville et al. Pitkin & Plant

Hosts elsewhere:

Caprifoliaceae        
Lonicera alpigena     Bladmineerders van Europa
Lonicera chrysantha     Bladmineerders van Europa
Lonicera nigra     Bladmineerders van Europa
Lonicera xylosteum Fly Honeysuckle British Wild Flowers by John Somerville et al. Bladmineerders van Europa
Symphoricarpos albus Snowberry   Bladmineerders van Europa
Viburnum       Belgian Lepidoptera
Viburnum lantana Wayfaring-tree British Wild Flowers by John Somerville et al. Bladmineerders van Europa
Cornaceae        
Cornus mas Cornelian-cherry   Bladmineerders van Europa
Cornus sanguinea Dogwood British Wild Flowers by John Somerville et al. Bladmineerders van Europa
Swida       Belgian Lepidoptera
Rhamnaceae        
Frangula alnus Alder Buckthorn British Wild Flowers by John Somerville et al. Bladmineerders van Europa, as Rhamnus frangula
Rhamnus cathartica Buckthorn British Wild Flowers by John Somerville et al. Belgian Lepidoptera
Rhamnus cathartica Buckthorn British Wild Flowers by John Somerville et al. Bladmineerders van Europa

Time of year - larvae: Biennial in the UK - August - September and May - June (British leafminers). Full grown cases already in autumn. In Britain the larva lives two years; if this also applies to the Continent is not known (Bladmineerders van Europa).

Time of year - adults: Currently unknown.

Distribution in Great Britain & Ireland: Britain including Dorset, East Suffolk and North Hampshire (NBN Atlas).

Distribution elsewhere: Widespread in continental Europe including Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Danish mainland, Estonia, Finland, French mainland, Germany, Hungary, Italian mainland, Latvia, Lithuania, Norwegian mainland, Poland, Portuguese mainland, Romania, Slovakia, Sweden, Switzerland and The Netherlands (Karsholt and van Nieukerken in Fauna Europaea).

NBN Atlas links to known host species:

Cornus mas, Cornus sanguinea, Frangula alnus, Lonicera xylosteum, Rhamnus cathartica, Symphoricarpos albus, Viburnum lantana

British and Irish Parasitoids in Britain and elsewhere:

Ichneumonoidea  
Scambus calobatus (Gravenhorst, 1829) Ichneumonidae: Pimplinae


External links: Search the internet:

Belgian Lepidoptera
Biodiversity Heritage Library
Bladmineerders van Europa
British leafminers
Encyclopedia of Life
Fauna Europaea
NBN Atlas
NHM UK Checklist
UKMoths

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Last updated 03-Jul-2017  Brian Pitkin Top of page