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 serratella (Linnaeus, 1761)
[Lepidoptera: Coleophoridae]

Common Case-bearer


Tinea serratella Linnaeus, 1761. Fauna suecica: 369.
Coleophora serratella
(Linnaeus, 1761).


Leaf-miner and case-bearer: The larva feeds by inserting its head into small mines it creates on the leaves of birch, elm, alder, or hazel. Occasionally it is found feeding on other trees, or on herbaceous plants onto which it has accidentally Fallén. It forms two cases during its larval life. The first case is initially curved, smooth, laterally compressed with a bivalved anal opening, and about 2 mm long in September. During October it feeds, and adds a few rough collars of larval material around the oral opening. After hibernation, it feeds again in April and early May, adding more protruding collars until they equal or exceed the original smooth part of the case. At the same time, it expands the case girth by the creation of a silk gusset ventrally. The second case, 6 or 7 mm long, is formed in May, leaving the vacated first case attached to its last feeding mine. The new case is tubular with a trivalved crimp at the anal opening. The dorsum is formed from the edge of the leaf from which the case was cut. This results in a more or less serrated dorsal keel, depending on the plant species and the individual piece of leaf used. Considerable variation in the degree of serration can be found, even among specimens off the same tree. The case colour varies with food plant, from yellowish brown on birch, darkening through elm and hazel to dark brown on alder (UKMoths).

The strongly curved young case is is a composite leaf case, the adult case is a tubular leaf case. The adult case is bivalved, about 7 mm in length; the mouth angle is around 30°. The case is straw coloured and almost always has a toothed dorsal keel (remnant of the margin of the leaf from which the case was cut). Neither larvae or cases of C. coracipennella, prunifoliae, serratelaem> and spinella can be separated; from serratella (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).

Pupation is in the larval case fixed to the upper surface of a leaf in a sunny situation. Sometimes pupation is on plants other than those fed on (UKMoths).

Adult: The adult is illustrated in UKMoths and the Encyclopedia of Life. The male and female genitalia are illustrated by the Lepidoptera Dissection Group.

Hosts in Great Britain & Ireland:

Betulaceae        
Alnus   Alder British Wild Flowers by John Somerville et al. UKMoths
Alnus   Alder British Wild Flowers by John Somerville et al. British leafminers
Betula   Birch   UKMoths
Betula   Birch   British leafminers
Corylus   Hazel British Wild Flowers by John Somerville et al. UKMoths
Corylus   Hazel British Wild Flowers by John Somerville et al. British leafminers
Rosaceae
Sorbus aria Common Whitebeam British Wild Flowers by John Somerville et al. British leafminers
Sorbus aucuparia Rowan British Wild Flowers by John Somerville et al. British leafminers
Ulmaceae        
Ulmus   Elm   British leafminers

Hosts elsewhere:

Betulaceae        
Alnus glutinosa Alder British Wild Flowers by John Somerville et al. Belgian Lepidoptera
Alnus glutinosa Alder British Wild Flowers by John Somerville et al. Bladmineerders van Europa
Alnus incana Grey Alder British Wild Flowers by John Somerville et al. Bladmineerders van Europa
Alnus viridis Green Alder   Bladmineerders van Europa
Betula       Belgian Lepidoptera
Betula nana Dwarf Birch 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
Betula pubescens Downy Birch British Wild Flowers by John Somerville et al. Bladmineerders van Europa
Carpinus       Belgian Lepidoptera
Carpinus betulus Hornbeam British Wild Flowers by John Somerville et al. Bladmineerders van Europa
Corylus       Belgian Lepidoptera
Corylus avellana Hazel British Wild Flowers by John Somerville et al. Bladmineerders van Europa
Mespilus germanica Medlar British Wild Flowers by John Somerville et al. Bladmineerders van Europa
Ostrya       Bladmineerders van Europa
Elaeagnaceae
       
Hippophae
      Bladmineerders van Europa
Grossulariaceae        
Ribes       Hering, 1957
Ribes       Bladmineerders van Europa
Myricaceae        
Myrica gale Bog-myrtle British Wild Flowers by John Somerville et al. Bladmineerders van Europa
Oleaceae        
Forsythia       Bladmineerders van Europa
Rosaceae        
Amelanchier ovalis Snowy Mespilus   Bladmineerders van Europa
Chaenomeles       Bladmineerders van Europa
Cotoneaster       Bladmineerders van Europa
Crataegus monogyna Hawthorn British Wild Flowers by John Somerville et al. Bladmineerders van Europa
Cydonia       Bladmineerders van Europa
Eriobotrya japonica Loquat   Bladmineerders van Europa
Malus pumila Apple British Wild Flowers by John Somerville et al.

Bladmineerders van Europa, as Malus domestica

Malus sylvestris Crab Apple British Wild Flowers by John Somerville et al. Bladmineerders van Europa
Mespilus germanica Medlar British Wild Flowers by John Somerville et al. Bladmineerders van Europa
Prunus       Bladmineerders van Europa
Sorbus aria Common Whitebeam British Wild Flowers by John Somerville et al. Belgian Lepidoptera
Sorbus aucuparia Rowan British Wild Flowers by John Somerville et al. Bladmineerders van Europa
Sorbus aucuparia Rowan British Wild Flowers by John Somerville et al. Belgian Lepidoptera
Sorbus intermedia Swedish Whitebeam British Wild Flowers by John Somerville et al. Belgian Lepidoptera
Spiraea bumalda     Bladmineerders van Europa
Spiraea x vanhouttei Van Houtte's Spiraea British Wild Flowers by John Somerville et al. Bladmineerders van Europa
Salicaceae        
Populus       Bladmineerders van Europa
Salix caprea Goat Willow British Wild Flowers by John Somerville et al. Bladmineerders van Europa
Ulmaceae        
Ulmus       Belgian Lepidoptera
Ulmus glabra Wych Elm British Wild Flowers by John Somerville et al. Bladmineerders van Europa

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

Time of year - adults: June (UKMoths).

Distribution in Great Britain & Ireland: This is probably the commonest species of British Coleophorid, and is found throughout the British Isles (UKMoths) including Anglesey, Banffshire, Bedfordshire, Berkshire, Breconshire, Caernarvonshire, Cambridgeshire, Cardiganshire, Carmarthenshire, Cheshire, Denbighshire, Derbyshire, East Cornwall, East Kent, East Norfolk, East Ross, East Suffolk, Easterness, Edinburgh, Elgin, Flintshire, Glamorgan, Herefordshire, Hertfordshire, Huntingdonshire, Kincardineshire, Merionethshire, Middlesex, Monmouthshire, North Aberdeenshire, North Devon, North Ebudes, North Essex, North Hampshire, North Somerset, North Wiltshire, Northamptonshire, Nottinghamshire, Shropshire, South Aberdeenshire, South Devon, South Lancashire, South Wiltshire, South-west Yorkshire, Stafford, Surrey, Warwickshire, West Gloucestershire, West Kent and West Lancaster (NBN Atlas) and the Channel Is. (Karsholt and van Nieukerken in Fauna Europaea).

Also recorded in the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland (Ireland's NBDC interactive map).

Distribution elsewhere: Widespread in continental Europe including Austria, Balearic Is., Belgium, Croatia, Czech Republic, Danish mainland, Estonia, ? Faroe Is., Finland, French mainland, Germany, Hungary, Italian mainland, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Norwegian mainland, Poland, Portuguese mainland, Romania, Russia - Central, North and South, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spanish mainland, Sweden, Switzerland and The Netherlands. Also recorded in the East Palaearctic, Near East and Nearctic region (Karsholt and van Nieukerken in Fauna Europaea).

NBN Atlas links to known host species:

Alnus glutinosa, Alnus incana, Alnus viridis, Amelanchier ovalis, Betula nana, Betula pendula, Betula pubescens, Carpinus betulus, Corylus avellana, Crataegus monogyna, Eriobotrya japonica, Malus pumila, Malus sylvestris, Mespilus germanica, Myrica gale, Salix caprea, Sorbus aria, Sorbus aucuparia, Sorbus intermedia, Spiraea x vanhouttei, Ulmus glabra

British and Irish Parasitoids in Britain and elsewhere:

Chalcidoidea  
Copidosoma peticus (Walker, 1846) Encyrtidae: Encyrtinae
Chrysocharis elongata (Thomson, 1878) Eulophidae: Entedoninae
Chrysocharis laricinellae (Ratzeburg, 1848) Eulophidae: Entedoninae
Chrysocharis nephereus (Walker, 1839) Eulophidae: Entedoninae
Closterocerus trifasciatus Westwood, 1833 Eulophidae: Entedoninae
Miotropis unipuncta (Nees, 1834) Eulophidae: Eulophinae
Eupelmus vesicularis (Retzius, 1783) Eupelmidae: Eupelminae
Eurytoma verticillata (Fabricius, 1798) Eurytomidae: Eurytominae
Dibrachys microgastri (Bouché, 1834) Pteromalidae: Pteromalinae
Mesopolobus mediterraneus (Mayr, 1903) Pteromalidae: Pteromalinae
Pteromalus puparum (Linnaeus, 1758) Pteromalidae: Pteromalinae
Sceptrothelys deione (Walker, 1839) Pteromalidae: Pteromalinae
Ichneumonoidea  
Therophilus mediator (Nees, 1814)Braconidae: Agathidinae
Bracon osculator Nees, 1811 Braconidae: Braconinae
Bracon claripennis Thomson, 1892 Braconidae: Braconinae
Apanteles corvinus Reinhard, 1880 Braconidae: Microgastrinae
Dolichogenidea breviventris (Ratzeburg, 1848) Braconidae: Microgastrinae
Dolichogenidea coleophorae (Wilkinson, 1938) Braconidae: Microgastrinae
Dolichogenidea decora (Haliday, 1834) Braconidae: Microgastrinae
Dolichogenidea dilecta (Haliday, 1834) Braconidae: Microgastrinae
Dolichogenidea faucula (Nixon, 1972) Braconidae: Microgastrinae
Dolichogenidea infima (Haliday, 1834) Braconidae: Microgastrinae
Pholetesor elpis (Nixon, 1973) Braconidae: Microgastrinae
Orgilus punctulator (Nees, 1811) Braconidae: Orgilinae
Orgilus rugosus (Nees, 1834) Braconidae: Orgilinae
Campoplex punctipleuris Horstmann, 1980 Ichneumonidae: Campopleginae
Campoplex tumidulus Gravenhorst, 1829 Ichneumonidae: Campopleginae
Diadegma fenestrale (Holmgren, 1860) Ichneumonidae: Campopleginae
Agrothereutes abbreviatus (Fabricius 1794) Ichneumonidae: Cryptinae
Bathythrix thomsoni (Kerrich, 1942) Ichneumonidae: Cryptinae
Eudelus scabriculus (Thomson, 1884) Ichneumonidae: Cryptinae
Gelis agilis (Fabricius, 1775) Ichneumonidae: Cryptinae
Gelis areator (Panzer, 1804) Ichneumonidae: Cryptinae
Gelis exareolatus (Forster 1850) Ichneumonidae: Cryptinae
Gelis fuscicornis (Retzius, 1783) Ichneumonidae: Cryptinae
Gelis hortensis (Christ, 1791) Ichneumonidae: Cryptinae
Gelis meigenii (Förster, 1850) Ichneumonidae: Cryptinae
Itoplectis maculator (Fabricius, 1775) Ichneumonidae: Pimplinae
Scambus calobatus (Gravenhorst, 1829) Ichneumonidae: Pimplinae
Scambus inanis (Schrank, 1802) Ichneumonidae: Pimplinae
Neliopisthus elegans (Ruthe, 1855) Ichneumonidae: Tryphoniinae


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 01-May-2017  Brian Pitkin Top of page