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 alnifoliae Barasch, 1934
[Lepidoptera: Coleophoridae]

Brown Alder Case-bearer


Coleophora alnifoliae Barasch, 1934. Dtsch. ent. Ztg.: 36.


Leaf-miner and case-bearer: The larva creates a succession of cases, in this instance fashioned from parts of a leaf. The final case is 11-13 mm long, slender, and fixed at 45° to the leaf surface, with anal end laterally compressed and bivalved (British leafminers).

A slender, brown, spathulate leaf case, in the end about 13 mm long; mouth angle about 15°. Young case slender, not hooked (Bladmineerders van Europa).

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.

The case is illustrated in UKMoths, British leafminers and 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 by Rob Edmunds. The male genitalia, but not the female genitalia (check for update), are illustrated by the Lepidoptera Dissection Group.

Hosts in Great Britain & Ireland:

Betulaceae        
Alnus       Pitkin & Plant
Alnus       UKMoths
Alnus glutinosa Alder British Wild Flowers by John Somerville et al. British leafminers

Hosts elsewhere:

Betulaceae        
Alnus glutinosa Alder British Wild Flowers by John Somerville et al. Belgian Lepidoptera
Alnus glutinosa Alder British Wild Flowers by John Somerville et al. Bladmineerders van Europa
Alnus incana Grey Alder British Wild Flowers by John Somerville et al. Belgian Lepidoptera
Alnus incana Grey Alder British Wild Flowers by John Somerville et al. Bladmineerders van Europa
Alnus viridis Green Alder   Bladmineerders van Europa
Betula       Bladmineerders van Europa

Time of year - larvae: Probably from September (early feeding not recorded) to November, feeding again from late May to June or July. There is also a biennial population, which aestivates and completes feeding in June or July of the second year (British leafminers). The species overwinters in a cases, in some populations twice before emerging as an adult (UKMoths).

Time of year - adults: Mainly in July and August. Some populations only produce adults every two years (UKMoths).

Distribution in Great Britain & Ireland: A rather local species which is slowly increasing its range. It occurs in scattered colonies in central and southern England, but also occasionally elsewhere (UKMoths); including East Kent, Glamorgan, Herefordshire, Montgomershire, North Somerset, Shropshire, West Gloucestershire and Worcestershire (NBN Atlas).

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

NBN Atlas links to known host species:

Alnus glutinosa, Alnus incana, Alnus viridis

British and Irish Parasitoids in Britain and elsewhere:

Chalcidoidea  
Copidosoma peticus (Walker, 1846) Encyrtidae: Encyrtinae


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 04-Jul-2017  Brian Pitkin Top of page