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 argentula (Stephens, 1834)
[Lepidoptera: Coleophoridae]

Yarrow Case-bearer

Porrectaria argentula Stephens, 1834. Ill. Brit. Ins. Haust. 4: 287.
Coleophora argentula
(Stephens, 1834).

Seed-feeder and case-bearer: Larva feeds on seeds and withering flowers. The full-grown case is 6 mm long, roughened with plant material attached to the case (British leafminers).

Pupation takes place within the case (UKMoths).

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).

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 male and female genitalia are illustrated by the Lepidoptera Dissection Group.

Hosts in Great Britain & Ireland:

Achillea       British leafminers

Hosts elsewhere: Currently unknown.

Time of year - larvae: September to October (British leafminers).

Time of year - adults: A single generation, flying in July and August, sometimes coming to light.

Distribution in Great Britain & Ireland: Widespread in Southern England and Wales, and is also found in Central Scotland (UKMoths); including Bedfordshire (VC30), Buckinghamshire (VC24), Cambridgeshire (VC29), Derbyshire (VC57), East Cornwall (VC2), East Norfolk (VC27), East Suffolk (VC25), Flintshire (VC51), Glamorganshire (VC41), Herefordshire (VC36), Merionethshire (VC48), Middlesex (VC21), Monmouthshire (VC35), North Essex (VC19), North Hampshire (VC12), North Somerset (VC6), North Wiltshire (VC7), Shropshire (VC40), South Hampshire (VC11), South Lancashire (VC59), South Wiltshire (VC8), South-west Yorkshire (VC63), Staffordshire (VC39), Surrey (VC17), West Cornwall (VC1), West Gloucestershire (VC34), West Kent (VC16), West Norfolk (VC28), West Suffolk (VC26) and Worcestershire (VC37) (NBN Gateway) and the Channel Is. (Karsholt and van Nieukerken in Fauna Europaea).

Also recorded in the Republic of Ireland (Karsholt and van Nieukerken in Fauna Europaea).

NBN Grid Map:

NBN Grid Map

Coleophora argentula
NBN Grid Map : NBN Terms and Conditions

Maps are only displayed if the NBN server is active. N.B. Only publicly available records, if any, are shown by default

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

NBN Interactive Grid Maps of known host species:

Host species unknown

British and Irish Parasitoids in Britain and elsewhere:

Agathis anglica Marshall, 1885 Braconidae: Agathidinae
Agathis nigra Nees, 1812 Braconidae: Agathidinae
Encrateola laevigata (Ratzeburg, 1848) Ichneumonidae: Cryptinae
Gelis avarus (Förster 1850) Ichneumonidae: Cryptinae

External links: Search the internet:

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

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Last updated 17-Jun-2016  Brian Pitkin Top of page