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 lassella (Staudinger, 1859)
[Lepidoptera: Coleophoridae]

Toad-rush Case-bearer

Coleophora lassella
(Staudinger, 1859).

Seed-feeder: The case is made from a seed capsule and the larvae consume the contents of a capsule before attaching to another one to feed. The final case is 4-5mm long (British leafminers).

Case of Coleophora lassella Images: Ian Thirlwell (British leafminers)
Case of Coleophora lassella
Image: © Ian Thirlwell (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 not illustrated in UKMoths (check for update). The species is included in

Hosts in Great Britain and Ireland:

bufonius Toad Rush British Wild Flowers by John Somerville et al. British leafminers

Hosts elsewhere: Currently unknown.

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

Time of year - adults: Currently unknown.

Distribution in Great Britain and Ireland: Britain including Dorset, East Suffolk, Isle of Wight, Middlesex, Surrey and West Cornwall (NBN Atlas), Hartland Moor, Dorset (British leafminers) and the Channel Is. (Fauna Europaea)

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

Distribution elsewhere: Widespread in continental Europe including Belgium, Canary Is., Corsica, Crete, Cyprus, Danish mainland, Finland, French mainland, Germany, Greek mainland, Italian mainland, Latvia, North Aegean Is., Norwegian mainland, Poland, Portuguese mainland, Russia - South, Sardinia, Sicily, Spanish mainland, Sweden and The Netherlands (Fauna Europaea).

NBN Atlas links to known host species:

Juncus buffonius

British and Irish Parasitoids in Britain and elsewhere: Currently unknown.

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 19-May-2019  Brian Pitkin Top of page