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 deauratella Lienig & Zeller, 1846
[Lepidoptera: Coleophoridae]

Red-clover Case-bearer

Coleophora deauratella Lienig & Zeller, 1846.

Seed-feeder and case-bearer: The larva feeding on the developing seeds and building a case closely resembling a floret of the foodplant (UKMoths) and only forms a case in the forth instar.

The case is 6mm long and turns red-brown (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).

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, Belgian Lepidoptera and the Encyclopedia of Life. The species is included in

Comments: One of several British species of Coleophora with bronzy metallic forewings.

Hosts in Great Britain and Ireland:

Trifolium pratense Red clover British Wild Flowers by John Somerville et al. UKMoths
Trifolium pratense Red clover British Wild Flowers by John Somerville et al. British leafminers

Hosts elsewhere:

Trifolium medium     Belgian Lepidoptera
Trifolium pratense Red clover British Wild Flowers by John Somerville et al. Belgian Lepidoptera

Time of year - larvae: July - September, then overwintering (British leafminers).

Time of year - adults: The adults fly in grassy habitats during June and July and can be attracted to light UKMoths

Distribution in Great Britain and Ireland: The species was only separated from C. frischella in 1976 and so the distribution detail is unclear but potentially includes the post-1976 records from Anglesey, Bedfordshire, Caernarvonshire, Cardiganshire, Carmarthenshire, Denbighshire, Dorset, East Cornwall, East Gloucestershire, East Norfolk, Glamorgan, Herefordshire, Hertfordhsire, Huntingdonshire, Isle of Wight, Leiestershire, Middlesex, North Hampshire, North Somerset, Pembrokeshire, Shropshire, South Essex, Stafford, Surrey, West Cornwall, West Gloucestershire, West Lancashire, West Norfolk and West Suffolk (NBN Atlas). Also Chorlton, Manchester (British leafminers) and Channel Is. (Fauna Europaea).

Coleophora frischella (Small Clover Case-bearer), which is also a seed feeder in various clovers, has a fairly similar distribution (see NBN Atlas) and itself has been confused with Coleophora alcyonipennella (HantsMoths)

Also recorded in the Republic of Ireland (Fauna Europaea and National Biodiversity Data Centre Map).

Distribution elsewhere: Widespread in continental Europe including Albania, Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Danish mainland, Estonia, Finland, French mainland, Germany, Greek mainland, Hungary, Italian mainland, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Macedonia, Norwegian mainland, Poland, Romania, Russia - Central and South, Sardinia, Sicily, Slovakia, Spanish mainland, Sweden, Switzerland, The Netherlands (Fauna Europaea).

Also recorded in East Palaearctic, Near East and Nearctic region (Fauna Europaea).

NBN Atlas links to known host species:

Trifolium pratense

British and Irish Parasitoids in Britain and elsewhere:

Baryscapus endemus (Walker 1839) Eulophidae: Tetrastichinae

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 26-Jun-2019  Brian Pitkin Top of page