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 lutipennella (Zeller, 1838)
[Lepidoptera: Coleophoridae]

Common Oak Case-bearer

Ornix lutipennella
Zeller, 1838. Isis: 713.
Coleophora lutipennella
(Zeller, 1838).

Leaf-miner and case-bearer: The larvae of this species feed on oak, forming a pear-shaped silken case, initially on the underside of a leaf, moving its case to an angle of twigs to over-winter (UKMoths). First case formed of silk, larva mining leaves. Feeding in spring in a new case on catkins and also mining leaves. Very similar to case of C. flavipennella (British leafminers).

Light brown, trivalved, tubular silken case of c. 7 mm; mouth angle c. 45°. Immediately after eclosion the larva begins the construction of its case, that entirely consists of silk (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).

The larva is illustrated in Bladmineerders van Europa.

Pupa: The pupae of moths have visible head appendages, wings and legs which lie in sheaths (see examples).

Distinguishing between the final cases of Coleophora flavipennella and Coleophora lutipennella on Oak (Quercus) is not possible but progress was made by Brian Goodey with their winter cases (Goodey, B., 1992. Ent. Rec. 104: p169-171). His findings were that the winter cases of these two Coleophora spp. could be distinguished by examining the anal end of the case. Coleophora flavipennella has a patch of leaf tissue incorporated into the case, seen as a raised area, whereas in Coleophora lutipennella this raised area does not exist (British leafminers Newsletter).

Adult: The adult is illustrated in UKMoths by Rob Edmunds. The species is included in

Hosts in Great Britain and Ireland:

Castanea sativa Sweet Chestnut British Wild Flowers by John Somerville et al. Pitkin & Plant
Quercus spp.     British leafminers
Quercus       UKMoths
Quercus       Pitkin & Plant

Hosts elsewhere:

Castanea sativa Sweet Chestnut British Wild Flowers by John Somerville et al. Bladmineerders van Europa
Quercus       Belgian Lepidoptera
Quercus macranthera     Bladmineerders van Europa
Quercus petraea Sessile Oak British Wild Flowers by John Somerville et al. Bladmineerders van Europa
Quercus pontica     Bladmineerders van Europa
Quercus robur Pedunculate Oak British Wild Flowers by John Somerville et al. Bladmineerders van Europa

Time of year - larvae: Late September to late October, then April to early June (British leafminers).

Time of year - adults: The adult moths emerge in a single generation in July and August, and are attracted to light, often flying some distance from the host plant (UKMoths).

Distribution in Great Britain and Ireland: The moth is thought to be common in England, Wales and southern Scotland (UKMoths) including Bedfordshire, Breconshire, Caernarvonshire, Cambridgeshire, Cardiganshire, Cheshire, Denbighshire, Derbyshire, East Cornwall, East Kent, East Suffolk, Flintshire, Glamorgan, Herefordshire, Hertfordshire, Huntingdonshire, Merionethshire, Middlesex, North Essex, North Hampshire, North Somerset, North Wiltshire, Shropshire, South Hampshire, South Lancashire, South Wiltshire, Stafford, Surrey, Warwickshire, West Kent, West Lancashire, West Norfolk, West Suffolk, Westmorland and Worcestershire (NBN Atlas).

Also recorded in the Republic of Ireland (Fauna Europaea).

Distribution elsewhere: Widespread in continental Europe including Albania, Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Danish mainland, Estonia, Finland, French mainland, Germany, Greek mainland, Hungary, Italian mainland, Latvia, Lithuania, Macedonia, Norwegian mainland, Poland, Portuguese mainland, Romania, Russia - Central, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spanish mainland, Sweden, Switzerland and The Netherlands. Also recorded in Near East (Fauna Europaea).

NBN Atlas links to known host species:

Castanea sativa, Quercus petraea, Quercus robur

British and Irish Parasitoids in Britain and elsewhere:

Copidosoma peticus (Walker, 1846) Encyrtidae: Encyrtinae
Chrysocharis laricinellae (Ratzeburg, 1848) Eulophidae: Entedoninae
Closterocerus trifasciatus Westwood, 1833 Eulophidae: Entedoninae
Miotropis unipuncta (Nees, 1834) Eulophidae: Eulophinae
Ichneumonoidea - Links to species no longer available  
Agathis breviseta Nees, 1812 Braconidae: Agathidinae
Therophilus mediator (Nees, 1814) Braconidae: Agathidinae
Bracon guttiger (Wesmael, 1838) Braconidae: Braconinae
Bracon osculator Nees, 1811 Braconidae: Braconinae
Ascogaster annularis (Nees, 1816) Braconidae: Cheloninae
Phanerotoma tritoma (Marshall, 1898) Braconidae: Cheloninae
Dolichogenidea breviventris (Ratzeburg, 1848) Braconidae: Microgastrinae
Dolichogenidea princeps (Wilkinson, 1941) Braconidae: Microgastrinae
Anomalon clandestinum (Gravenhorst, 1829) Ichneumonidae: Anomaloninae
Campoplex jaeckhi (Bauer, 1936) Ichneumonidae: Campopleginae
Diadegma neomajale Horstmann, 1969 Ichneumonidae: Campopleginae
Gelis areator (Panzer, 1804) Ichneumonidae: Cryptinae
Neliopisthus elegans (Ruthe, 1855) Ichneumonidae: Tryphoniinae
Anomalon clandestinum (Gravenhorst, 1829) Ichneumonidae: Anomaloninae

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

Find using Google
Find using Google Scholar
Find images using Google

XHTML Validator
Last updated 11-Jul-2019  Brian Pitkin Top of page