and case-bearer: The larva builds a distinctive 'pistol-case' with a 'handle' of
pale greyish silk (UKMoths).
full grown larva in a black pistol case of 7 mm long. The mouth
angle is c. 80°. From the rear end a grey silken cloak (pallium)
hangs down to almost halfway the mouth (Bladmineerders van Europa).
case is also illustrated in the Encyclopedia of Life.
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).
The adult is illustrated in UKMoths
(by Rob Edmunds) and the Encyclopedia of Life. The male
genitalia are illustrated by the Lepidopera Dissection Group.
Hosts in Great Britain & Ireland:
of year - larvae: September to October, feeding again from April
to May or mid-June (British
of year - adults: July and August (UKMoths).
in Great Britain & Ireland: Widespread in England, including
Bedfordshire (VC30), Cambridgeshire (VC29), East Kent (VC15), East Suffolk (VC25), Herefordshire (VC36), Hertfordshire (VC20), Middlesex (VC21), North Essex (VC19), North Hampshire (VC12), North Somerset (VC6),
Northamptonshire (VC32), South Essex (VC18), South Wiltshire (VC8), Surrey (VC17), West Gloucestershire (VC34),
West Kent (VC16), West Norfolk (VC28), West Suffolk (VC26) and Worcestershire (VC37) (NBN
over its distribution is compounded by the fact that this species
was formerly known as Coleophora ardeaepennella and the fact
that Coleophora betullela on Betula has been misidentified as Coleophora
Also recorded from the Republic of Ireland. See NBDC interactive map.
NBN Grid Map:
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Distribution elsewhere: Widespread in continental Europe including Austria, Belgium,
Croatia, Czech Republic, Danish mainland, Estonia, French mainland,
Germany, Greek mainland, Hungary, Italian mainland, Latvia, Lithuania,
Luxembourg, Norwegian mainland, Poland, Portuguese mainland, Romania,
Russia - South, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spanish mainland, Sweden, Switzerland,
The Netherlands and Yugoslavia. Also recorded in Near East and North
Afroca (Karsholt and van Nieukerken in Fauna Europaea).
NBN Interactive Grid Maps of known host species:
British and Irish Parasitoids in Britain and elsewhere: