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

N.B. Links to the latest version of 'Leafminers and plant galls of Europe' are being edited

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Coleophora pyrrhulipennella Zeller, 1839
[Lepidoptera: Coleophoridae]

Ling Case-bearer


Coleophora pyrrhulipennella Zeller, 1839. Isis: 26.


Leaf-miner and case-bearer: The larva forms a distinctive black case from silk, from which it feeds on the foliage or flowers of heather or bell heather. The larval case reaches around 9 mm in length when fully fed (UKMoths).

The shiny black case is also illustrated in British leafminers and described in (Bladmineerders van Europa).

Case of Coleophora pyrrhulipennella
Case of Coleophora pyrrhulipennella
Image: © Martin Honey (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).

See Emmet et al. (1996a), Suire (1961a) (Bladmineerders van Europa).

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

The pupa is formed in the larval case, which is attached to the tip of a shoot in full sunshine (UKMoths).

Adult: The adult is illustrated in UKMoths by Tymo Muus. 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       British leafminers
Calluna vulgaris Heather British Wild Flowers by John Somerville et al. Pitkin & Plant
Calluna vulgaris Heather British Wild Flowers by John Somerville et al. UKMoths
Erica       British leafminers
Erica cinerea Bell Heather British Wild Flowers by John Somerville et al. Pitkin & Plant
Erica cinerea Bell Heather British Wild Flowers by John Somerville et al. UKMoths

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
Erica manipuliflora     Bladmineerders van Europa

Time of year - larvae: September - May (British leafminers) or June (UKMoths).

Time of year - adults: The adults fly mainly in June and July (UKMoths).

Distribution in Great Britain & Ireland: A fairly common species throughout much of mainland Britain, inhabiting moorland, heaths and bogs (UKMoths) including Anglesey, Banffshire, Bedfordshire, Berkshire, Berwickshire, Caernarvonshire, Denbighshire, Dunbarton, Durham, East Cornwall, East Norfolk, East Suffolk, Easterness, Glamorgan, Isle of Wight, Kincardineshire, Linlithgow, Merionethshire, Middlesex, North Aberdeen, Nottinghamshire, Outer Hebrides, Shropshire, South Aberdeen, Stafford, Stirling, Surrey, Warwickshire, West Cornwall, West Suffolk and Westmorland (NBN Atlas).

Also occurs sparsely in Ireland (UKMoths and Karsholt and van Nieukerken in Fauna Europaea). See also Ireland's NBDC interactive map.

Distribution elsewhere: Widespread in continental Europe including Austria, Belgium, Corsica, Crete, Croatia, Czech Republic, Danish mainland, Estonia, Finland, French mainland, Germany, Greek mainland, Hungary, Italian mainland, Latvia, Lithuania, Malta, Norwegian mainland, Poland, Portuguese mainland, Romania, Sardinia, Sicily, Slovenia, Spanish mainland, Sweden, Switzerland and The Netherlands. Also recorded in Near East and North Africa (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:

Ichneumonoidea  
Orgilus minor Taeger, 1989 Braconidae: Orgilinae
Campoplex jaeckhi (Bauer, 1936) Ichneumonidae: Campopleginae
Diadegma fenestrale (Holmgren, 1860) Ichneumonidae: Campopleginae
Gelis agilis (Fabricius, 1775) Ichneumonidae: Cryptinae
Gelis areator (Panzer, 1804) Ichneumonidae: Cryptinae


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 06-Aug-2017  Brian Pitkin Top of page