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 saxicolella (Duponchel, 1843)
[Lepidoptera: Coleophoridae]

Orache Case-bearer

Ornix saxicolella Duponchel, 1843. Hist. Nat. Lep. Fr. 4: 300, pl. 75 fig. 8
Coleophora benanderi Kanerva, 1941. Ann. ent. Fenn. 7: 120, fig'd
Coleophora saxicolella (Duponchel, 1843).

Seed-feeder and case-bearer: The eggs are laid on the florets of goosefoot and orache (UKMoths).

Larva feeds on seeds. The full-grown case is 6-7 mm long (British leafminers).

Case of Coleophora saxicolella Image: © David Manning (British leafminers)
Case of Coleophora saxicolella
Image: © David Manning (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).

Pupation occurs in the case on the ground (UKMoths).

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

Hosts in Great Britain and Ireland:

Atriplex       British leafminers
Atriplex       UKMoths
Chenopodium       British leafminers
Chenopodium       UKMoths

Hosts elsewhere: Currently unknown.

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

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

Distribution in Great Britain and Ireland: Thought to be locally common throughout most of the British Isles (UKMoths) including Anglesey, Banffshire, Bedfordshire, Caernarvonshire, Cambridgeshire, Cardiganshire, Denbighshire, Derbyshire, Dorset, Dunbartonshire, Durham, East Cornwall, East Norfolk, East Ross, East Suffolk, Flintshire, Glamorgan, Haddington, Herefordshire, Huntingdonshire, Isle of Wight, Kincardineshire, Leicestershire, Linlithgow, North Hampshire, North Somerset, Outer Hebrides, Pembrokeshire, Shropshire, South-east Yorkashire, South-west Yorkshire, Stafford, Surrey, West Cornwall, West Gloucestershire, West Lancashire, West Norfolk, West Suffolk, Westmorland and Worcestershire (NBN Atlas) and Ireland (Fauna Europaea).

Distribution elsewhere: Widespread in continental Europe including Austria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Danish mainland, Estonia, Finland, French mainland, Germany, Greek mainland, Hungary, Italian mainland, Latvia, Macedonia, Norwegian mainland, Poland, Portuguese mainland, Russia - North and South, Sardinia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spanish mainland, Sweden, The Netherlands and Ukraine. Also recorded in Near East and North Africa (Fauna Europaea).

Also recorded in the Republic of Ireland (NBDC interactive map).

NBN Atlas links to known host species:

Host species unknown

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 26-Jun-2019  Brian Pitkin Top of page