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 juncicolella Stainton, 1851
[Lepidoptera: Coleophoridae]

Least Case-bearer


Coleophora juncicolella Stainton, 1851. Cat. Brit. Tin. Suppl: 7.


Leaf-miner and case-bearer: The fully developed 4 mm to 5 mm case is made of seven to ten mined heather leaves arranged in a neat herring-bone pattern. The cases closely resemble sprigs of heather and are best found by placing swept debris in a box, where the larvae will reveal themselves by climbing the sides (UKMoths).

Very small (c. 4 mm) light brown lobe case with a mouth angle of about 40°. The case is composed of 8-10 small leaf fragments, placed in herringbone manner, giving the case the appearance of a small browned ling branchlet (Bladmineerders van Europa).

The case is also illustrated in British leafminers and 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 not illustrated in UKMoths (check for update). The male genitalia, but not the female genitalia (check for update), are illustrated by the Lepidoptera Dissection Group.

Hosts in Great Britain & Ireland:

Ericaceae        
Calluna vulgaris Heather British Wild Flowers by John Somerville et al. British leafminers
Calluna vulgaris Heather British Wild Flowers by John Somerville et al. Pitkin & Plant
Erica cinerea Bell Heather British Wild Flowers by John Somerville et al. British leafminers
Erica cinerea Bell Heather British Wild Flowers by John Somerville et al. Pitkin & Plant

Hosts elsewhere:

Ericaceae        
Calluna vulgaris Heather British Wild Flowers by John Somerville et al. Bladmineerders van Europa
Erica cinerea Bell Heather British Wild Flowers by John Somerville et al. Bladmineerders van Europa

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

Time of year - adults: Late June and July in afternoon sun over heather on heaths, moors and occasionally gardens (UKMoths).

Distribution in Great Britain & Ireland: Most parts of Britain (UKMoths) including Banffshire, Bedfordshire, Caernarvonshire, Cheshire, Denbighshire, Derbyshire, East Kent, East Norfolk, East Ross, East Suffolk, Flintshire, Glamorgan, Herefordshire, Kincardineshire, South Aberdeenshire, Stafford, Surrey, West Gloucestershire, Westmorland and Worcestershire (NBN Atlas).

Also recorded in the Republic of 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, Norwegian mainland, Poland, Portuguese mainland, Slovakia, Spanish mainland, Sweden, Switzerland and The Netherlands (Karsholt and van Nieukerken in Fauna Europaea).

NBN Atlas links to known host species:

Calluna vulgaris, Erica cinerea

British and Irish Parasitoids in Britain and elsewhere:

Chalcidoidea  
Hyssopus olivaceus (Thomson, 1878) Eulophidae: Eulophinae
Ichneumonoidea  
Diadegma nanus (Gravenhorst, 1829) Ichneumonidae: Campopleginae


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 01-May-2017  Brian Pitkin Top of page