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

N.B. Links to the latest version of 'Leafminers and plant galls of Europe' are being edited

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Coleophora discordella Zeller, 1849
[Lepidoptera: Coleophoridae]

Lotus Case-bearer


Coleophora discordella Zeller, 1849. Linn. ent. 4: 301.


Leaf-miner and case-bearer: The initial mine is like that of a nepticulid. The case is made form excised leaf portions, which are added to the oral end, leading to the ringed appearance. The larva causes the leaf to have white blotches. Identification cannot be made on these alone as similar blotches can be made by early instar larvae of the Common Blue butterfly (Polyommatus icarus) (British leafminers).

Oviposition at the leaf underside, mostly in a vein axil. The larva begins by making a narrow winding corridor with much frass in a broad central line. The corridor reminds that of a nepticulid (but the egg has a finely reticulate surface, unlike the smooth nepticulid egg.) In the end the corridor widens into an oval blotch, usually close to the leaf margin, out of which the first case is made. The full grown larva in a greyish brown composite leaf case of about 6 mm, attached to the underside of a leaf. The oldest quarter of the case is bivalved, laterally compressed, and is at an angle of 70° with the anterior part of the case. The mouth angle is around 40° (Bladmineerders van Europa).

The case is also illustrated in 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:

Fabaceae        
Lotus       UKMoths
Lotus corniculatus Common Bird's-foot-trefoil British Wild Flowers by John Somerville et al. British leafminers
Lotus corniculatus Common Bird's-foot-trefoil British Wild Flowers by John Somerville et al. Pitkin & Plant
Lotus pedunculatus Greater Bird's-foot-trefoil British Wild Flowers by John Somerville et al.

British leafminers, as Lotus uliginosus

Lotus pedunculatus Greater Bird's-foot-trefoil British Wild Flowers by John Somerville et al. Pitkin & Plant, as Lotus uliginosus

Hosts elsewhere:

Fabaceae        
? Astragalus       Bladmineerders van Europa
? Dorycnium rectum     Bladmineerders van Europa
Lotus corniculatus Common Bird's-foot-trefoil British Wild Flowers by John Somerville et al. Bladmineerders van Europa
Lotus tenuis Narrow-leaved Bird's-foot-trefoil British Wild Flowers by John Somerville et al. Bladmineerders van Europa
Lotus pedunculatus Greater Bird's-foot-trefoil British Wild Flowers by John Somerville et al. Bladmineerders van Europa, as Lotus uliginosus
? Medicago       Bladmineerders van Europa
? Oxytropis       Bladmineerders van Europa

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

Time of year - adults: Mainly in July (UKMoths).

Distribution in Great Britain & Ireland: Found widely in a variety of habitats throughout the UK (British leafminers) including Anglesey, Banff, Bedfordshire, Berkshire, Buckinghamshire, Caernarvonshire, Cardiganshire, Carmarthenshire, Cheshire, Cheviotland, Cumberland, Denbighshire, Derbyshire, Dorset, Dunbarton, East Cornwall, East Kent, East Norfolk, East Ross, East Suffolk, East Sutherland, Flintshire, Glamorgan, Haddington, Herefordshire, Hertfordshire, Huntingdonshire, Isle of Wight, Kincardineshire, Kirkudbrightshire, Leicestershire, Merionethshire, Montgomeryshire, North Aberdeen, North Devon, North Essex, North Hampshire, North Somerset, North-east Yorkshire, North Wiltshire, Northumberland South, Outer Hebrides, Pembrokeshire, Shropshire, South Hampshire, South-east Yorkshire, South-west Yorkshire, Stafford, Surrey, West Cornwall, West Kent, West Lancaster, West Norfolk, West Suffolk, Westmorland, WIgtownshire and Worcestershire (NBN Atlas), the Channel Is. (Karsholt and van Nieukerken in Fauna Europaea).

Also recorded in the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland (Karsholt and van Nieukerken in Fauna Europaea). See also Ireland's NBDC interactive map.

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

NBN Atlas links to known host species:

Lotus corniculatus, Lotus tenuis, Lotus pedunculatus

British and Irish Parasitoids in Britain and elsewhere:

Ichneumonoidea  
Agathis anglica Marshall, 1885 Braconidae: Agathidinae
Bracon osculator Nees, 1811 Braconidae: Braconinae
Ascogaster rufipes (Latreille, 1809) Braconidae: Cheloninae
Orgilus pimpinellae Niezabitowski, 1910 Braconidae: Orgilinae
Diadegma elishae (Bridgman, 1884) Ichneumonidae: Campopleginae
Gelis agilis (Fabricius, 1775) Ichneumonidae: Cryptinae
Gelis meigenii (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 Atlas
NHM UK Checklist
UKMoths

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Last updated 05-Aug-2017  Brian Pitkin Top of page