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 salicorniae Heinemann & Wocke, 1876
[Lepidoptera: Coleophoridae]

Glasswort Case-bearer

Coleophora salicorniae Heinemann & Wocke, 1876. Kleinach. Deutsch. 2: 553
Coleophora cypriacella Rebel, 1928. Verh. zool-bot. Ges. Wien. 78: [33].

Seed-feeder and case-bearer: Larva feeds internally on seeds and fleshy spikes. A case is formed from the tip of a spike, and feeding continues for a short time on other spikes (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).

The larva burrows into the mud to spend the winter in a silken tube (UKMoths).

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

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

Hosts in Great Britain and Ireland:

Salicornia     UKMoths
Salicornia     British leafminers

Hosts elsewhere: Currently unknown.

Salicornia     Belgian Lepidoptera
Salicornia europaea   Bladmineerders van Europa

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

Time of year - adults: July or August (UKMoths).

Distribution in Great Britain and Ireland: A local species, inhabiting saltmarshes around the coast of England and parts of Wales and can roam inland, where they may be attracted to light (UKMoths) including Caernarvonshire, Denbighshire, Dorset, East Norfolk, East Suffolk, Flintshire, Glamorgan, Isle of Wight, Middlesex, North Essex, North Somerset, South Hampshire, South-east Yorkshire, West Cornwall, West Lancashire, West Norfolk and Westmorland (NBN Atlas). The available records indicate that this is a coastal species.

Also recorded from the Republic of Ireland. See also Ireland's National Biodiversity Data Centre Map).

Distribution elsewhere: Widespread in continental Europe including Austria, Belgium, Canary Is., Croatia, Cyprus, Danish mainland, Finland, French mainland, Germany, Greek mainland, Hungary, Italian mainland, North Aegean Is., Norwegian mainland, Portuguese mainland, Romania, Russia - South, Sardinia, Sicily, Slovenia, Spanish mainland, Sweden, The Netherlands and Ukraine. Also recorded in the East Palaearctic, Near East and North Africa (Fauna Europaea).

NBN Atlas links to known host species:

Host species unknown

British and Irish Parasitoids in Britain and elsewhere:

Ichneumonoidea - Links to species no longer available  
Agathis fuscipennis (Zetterstedt, 1838) Braconidae: Agathidinae

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