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


Coleophora badiipennella (Duponchel, 1843)
[Lepidoptera: Coleophoridae]

Pale Elm Case-bearer

Ornix badiipennella Duponchel, 1843. Hist. nat. ent. Fr. Suppl. 4: 346.
Coleophora badiipennella
(Duponchel, 1843).

Leaf-miner and case-bearer: The larva initially forms a gallery along the midrib, which then goes out along a vein. The end of this gallery is then excised to construct the first case. It then feeds close to this and makes several small mines (British leafminers).

The final case is a small, laterally compressed, squat, spatulate leaf case of 5-6 mm. The dorsal keel has some serrations, remnants of the leaf margin out of which the case was cut. The rear is twovalved, and remarkably broad. The mouth angle is 0-10°.

The description and illustration of the final case in Emmet et al. (1996a) is not quite clear. They depict a rather slender case, and state that the mouth angle is 30°. But, as the only illustration in the other literature that would agree with the British badiipennella, they refer to Hering (1957a, fig. 701): this illustration, however, has no resemblance to their own figure, and has a mouth angle of c. 0°.

Emmet et al. write that the larva begins its life by making a gallery of 10-15 mm that runs from the midrib along a side vein; out if this mine the first youth case is excised (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).

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 Nigel Whinney. The species is included in

Hosts in Great Britain and Ireland:

Ulmus       British leafminers
Ulmus       Pitkin & Plant
Ulmus       UKMoths

Hosts elsewhere:

Acer       Belgian Lepidoptera
Acer campestre Field Maple British Wild Flowers by John Somerville et al. Bladmineerders van Europa
Acer platanoides Norway Maple British Wild Flowers by John Somerville et al. Bladmineerders van Europa
Corylus       Belgian Lepidoptera
Corylus avellana Hazel British Wild Flowers by John Somerville et al. Bladmineerders van Europa
Fraxinus       Belgian Lepidoptera
Fraxinus       Bladmineerders van Europa
Ulmus glabra Wych Elm British Wild Flowers by John Somerville et al. Bladmineerders van Europa
Ulmus       Belgian Lepidoptera
Ulmus x hollandica Dutch Elm   Bladmineerders van Europa

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

Time of year - adults: The adults fly in June and July and occasionally come to light.

Distribution in Great Britain and Ireland: Locally distributed throughout much of England (UKMoths) including Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire, Dorset, East Kent, East Norfolk, East Suffolk, Hertfordshire, Huntingdonshire, Isle of Wight, North Essex, North Somerset, Stafford, West Norfolk and West Suffolk (NBN Atlas) and the Channel Is. (Fauna Europaea). It occurs around the edges of woodland and prefers saplings to mature trees (UKMoths).

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

NBN Atlas links to known host species:

Acer campestre, Acer platanoides, Corylus avellana, Ulmus glabra, Ulmus x hollandica, Ulmus minor

British and Irish Parasitoids in Britain and elsewhere: Currently unknown.

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

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Last updated 25-Jun-2019  Brian Pitkin Top of page