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 laricella (Hübner, 1817)
[Lepidoptera: Coleophoridae]

Larch Case-bearer

Tinea laricella
Hübner, 1817. Samml. Europ. Schmett.: 164
Coleophora laricella
(Hübner, 1817).

Leaf-miner and case-bearer: The larvae feed on the needles. When occurring in large numbers, entire trees can be damaged, the needles turning pale as the larvae eat them from within. A number of cases are built as the larvae grow, often in the centre of a floret of needles (UKMoths).

The case is also illustrated in British leafminers and 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).

The cremaster is illustrated in Bladmineerders van Europa.

Coleophora laricella larva,  dorsal
Coleophora laricella larva, dorsal
Image: © Willem Ellis (Bladmineerders van Europa)

Adult: The adult is illustrated in UKMoths. The species is included in

Hosts in Great Britain and Ireland:

Larix decidua European Larch British Wild Flowers by John Somerville et al. British leafminers
Larix decidua European Larch British Wild Flowers by John Somerville et al. Pitkin & Plant
Larix decidua European Larch British Wild Flowers by John Somerville et al. UKMoths

Hosts elsewhere:

Larix       Belgian Lepidoptera
Larix decidua European Larch British Wild Flowers by John Somerville et al. Belgian Lepidoptera
Larix decidua European Larch British Wild Flowers by John Somerville et al. Bladmineerders van Europa
Larix gmelinii     Bladmineerders van Europa
Larix kaempferi Japanese Larch British Wild Flowers by John Somerville et al. Bladmineerders van Europa
Larix laricina American Larch   Bladmineerders van Europa
Larix occidentalis Douglas Fir British Wild Flowers by John Somerville et al. Bladmineerders van Europa
Larix sibirica     Bladmineerders van Europa
Pseudotsuga menziesii     Bladmineerders van Europa

Time of year - larvae: July to October, feeding again from April to May (British leafminers).

Time of year - adults: The adults fly in June and July and are attracted to light (UKMoths).

Distribution in Great Britain and Ireland: A common species in suitable habitats throughout most of the British Isles (UKMoths) including Anglesey, Banffshire, Bedfordshire, Breconshire, Caernarvonshire, Cambridgeshire, Carmarthenshire, Cumberland, Denbighshire, Dunbartonshire, Durham, East Cornwall, East Norfolk, East Suffolk, Flintshire, Glamorgan, Herefordshire, Hertfordshire, Kincardineshire, Kirkudbrightshire, Leicestershire, Linlithgow, Merionethshire, Middlesex, Montgomeryshire, North Ebudes, North Essex, North Northumberland, North Wiltshire, Pembrokeshire, Shropshire, South Hampshire, South Northumberland, Stafford, Stirlingshire, Surrey, Warwickshire, West Gloucestershire, West Norfolk, West Ross, West Suffolk, Westmorland, Wigtownshire, and Worcestershire (NBN Atlas).

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

Distribution elsewhere: Widespread in continental Europe including Austria, Belgium, Croatia, Czech Republic, Danish mainland, Estonia, Finland, French mainland, Germany, Hungary, Italian mainland, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Norwegian mainland, Poland, Romania, Russia - North, Slovakia, Slovenia, Sweden, Switzerland and The Netherlands (Fauna Europaea).

NBN Atlas links to known host species:

Larix decidua, Larix kaempferi, Larix laricina, Pseudotsuga menziesii

British and Irish Parasitoids in Britain and elsewhere:

Conura xanthostigma (Dalman, 1820) Chacididae : Chalcidinae
Chrysocharis laricinellae (Ratzeburg, 1848) Eulophidae: Entedoninae
Chrysocharis moravica (Malac, 1943) Eulophidae: Entedoninae
Chrysocharis nephereus (Walker, 1839) Eulophidae: Entedoninae
Chrysocharis nitetis (Walker, 1939) Eulophidae: Entedoninae
Cirrospilus diallus Walker, 1838 Eulophidae: Eulophinae
Cirrospilus salatis Walker, 1838 Eulophidae: Eulophinae
Dicladocerus westwoodii Westwood, 1856 Eulophidae: Eulophinae
Elachertus fenestratus Nees, 1834 Eulophidae: Eulophinae
Necremnus metalarus (Walker, 1839) Eulophidae: Eulophinae
Euderus albitarsis (Zetterstedt, 1838) Eulophidae: Entiinae
Eupelmus vesicularis (Retzius, 1783) Eupelmidae: Eupelminae
Mesopolobus semiclavatus (Ratzeburg, 1848) Pteromalidae: Pteromalinae
Mesopolobus subfumatus (Ratzeburg, 1852) Pteromalidae: Pteromalinae

Pteromalus semotus (Walker, 1834)

Pteromalidae: Pteromalinae
Sceptrothelys deione (Walker, 1839) Pteromalidae: Pteromalinae
Ichneumonoidea - Links to species no longer available  
Agathis anglica Marshall, 1885 Braconidae: Agathidinae
Earinus gloriatorius (Panzer, 1809) Braconidae: Agathidinae
Therophilus pumilus (Ratzeburg, 1844) Braconidae: Agathidinae
Triaspis caudata (Nees, 1816) Braconidae: Brachistinae
Bracon guttiger (Wesmael, 1838) Braconidae: Braconinae
Bracon stabilis (Wesmael, 1838) Braconidae: Braconinae
Adelius viator (Förster, 1851) Braconidae: Cheloninae
Oncophanes minutus (Wesmael, 1838) Braconidae: Rhyssalinae
Campoplex tumidulus Gravenhorst, 1829 Ichneumonidae: Campopleginae
Diadegma armillatum (Gravenhorst, 1829) Ichneumonidae: Campopleginae
Diadegma elishae (Bridgman, 1884) Ichneumonidae: Campopleginae
Diadegma laricinellum (Strobl, 1904) Ichneumonidae: Campopleginae
Diadegma nanus (Gravenhorst, 1829) Ichneumonidae: Campopleginae
Bathythrix aerea (Gravenhorst 1829) Ichneumonidae: Cryptinae
Bathythrix thomsoni (Kerrich, 1942) Ichneumonidae: Cryptinae
Diadegma laricinellum (Strobl, 1904) Ichneumonidae: Cryptinae
Gelis agilis (Fabricius, 1775) Ichneumonidae: Cryptinae
Gelis albipalpus (Thomson, 1884) Ichneumonidae: Cryptinae
Gelis areator (Panzer, 1804) Ichneumonidae: Cryptinae
Gelis cinctus (Linnaeus, 1758) Ichneumonidae: Cryptinae
Gelis melanogaster (Thomson, 1884) Ichneumonidae: Cryptinae
Isadelphus inimicus (Gravenhorst, 1829) Ichneumonidae: Cryptinae
Woldstedtius flavolineatus (Gravenhorst, 1829) Ichneumonidae: Diplazontinae
Endromopoda detrita (Holmgren, 1860) Ichneumonidae: Pimplinae
Itoplectis alternans (Gravenhorst, 1829) Ichneumonidae: Pimplinae
Itoplectis maculator (Fabricius, 1775) Ichneumonidae: Pimplinae
Scambus brevicornis (Gravenhorst, 1829) Ichneumonidae: Pimplinae

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 11-Jul-2019  Brian Pitkin Top of page