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 orbitella Zeller, 1849
[Lepidoptera: Coleophoridae]

Pale Birch Case-bearer


Coleophora orbitella Zeller, 1849. Linn. Ent. 4: 385.


Leaf-miner and case-bearer: Composite leaf case. The material used to enlarge the case consists of large pieces of full depth mine, that are attached with such precision that they may seem seemless. In the course of summer an autumn two (sometimes three, according to Hering, 1927b) pieces are added. No more material is added after hibernation, causing the case in spring to be rather uniformly coloured (contrary to C. binderella, that does add an extension in spring, and is made of fresh leaf material) (Bladmineerders van Europa).

The final case is brown and is tubular with slight dorsal and ventral keels (as shown). The case is made from two leaves, with the intial leaf turning grey and the newer leaf brown (British leafminers).

Case of Coleophora orbitella on Betula pendula
Case of Coleophora orbitella on Betula pendula
Image: © Willem Ellis (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).

Four pairs of abdominal prolegs (Sich, 1904a) (Bladmineerders van Europa).

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 and female genitalia are illustrated by the Lepidoptera Dissection Group.

Hosts in Great Britain & Ireland:

Betulaceae        
Alnus       Pitkin & Plant
Betula       Pitkin & Plant
Carpinus betulus Hornbeam British Wild Flowers by John Somerville et al. Pitkin & Plant
Corylus avellana Hazel British Wild Flowers by John Somerville et al. Pitkin & Plant

Hosts elsewhere:

Betulaceae        
Alnus glutinosa Alder British Wild Flowers by John Somerville et al. Bladmineerders van Europa
Betula pendula Silver Birch British Wild Flowers by John Somerville et al. Bladmineerders van Europa
Carpinus betulus Hornbeam British Wild Flowers by John Somerville et al. Bladmineerders van Europa
Corylus avellana Hazel British Wild Flowers by John Somerville et al. Bladmineerders van Europa

Time of year - larvae: Mid August; larvae are full grown by the end of October. Pupation only after thibernation (Bladmineerders van Europa).

Time of year - adults: Currently unknown.

Distribution in Great Britain & Ireland: Britain including Bedfordshire, Brecon, Caernarvonshire, Cheshire, Denbighshire, Dorset, Dunbartonshire, Durham, East Suffolk, East Sussex, Herefordshire, Hertfordshire, Huntingdonshire, Merionethshire, North Aberdeen, North Essex, Shropshire, South Aberdeen, South Hampshire, South-west Yorkshire, Stafford, Warwickshire, West Norfolk, West Ross, 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, Hungary, Italian mainland, Latvia, Lithuania, Norwegian mainland, Poland, Russia - North, Slovakia, Sweden, Switzerland and The Netherlands (Karsholt and van Nieukerken in Fauna Europaea).

NBN Atlas links to known host species:

Alnus glutinosa, Betula pendula, Carpinus betulus, Corylus avellana

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
UKMoths

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Last updated 08-Jul-2017  Brian Pitkin Top of page