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 trifolii (Curtis, 1832)
[Lepidoptera: Coleophoridae]

Large Clover Case-bearer

Damophila trifolii Curtis, 1832. Brit. Ent. 9: 391.
Coleophora trifolii
(Curtis, 1832).

Seed-feeder and case-bearer: Larva makes a case from seedpods and up to three pods may be joined together. The final case is trivalved and black in colour (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).

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

Hosts in Great Britain and Ireland:

Melilotus       UKMoths
Melilotus altissimus Tall Melilot British Wild Flowers by John Somerville et al. British leafminers
Melilotus officinalis Ribbed Melilot British Wild Flowers by John Somerville et al. British leafminers

Hosts elsewhere: Currently unknown.

Time of year - larvae: July - May (British leafminers).

Time of year - adults: June and July. The adults fly in the daytime, but are also attracted to light at night (UKMoths).

Distribution in Great Britain and Ireland: Present in England and Wales, being commoner in the south. Occurs in areas of open waste ground and grassland (UKMoths); including Bedfordshire, Buckinghamshire, Cambridgeshire, Cumberland, Denbighshire, Dorset, Durham, East Norfolk, East Suffolk, Glamorgan, Hereforshire, Hertfordshire, Huntingdonshire, Isle of Wight, Leicestershire, Middlesex, North Essex, North Hampshire, North Somerset, North-east Yorkshire, Shropshire, South Devon, South Essex, South Hampshire, SSouth Wiltshire, South-west Yorkshire, Stafford, Surrey, Warwickshire, West Gloucestershire, West Lancashire, West Norfolk and West Suffolk (NBN Atlas).

Also recorded in the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland (Karsholt and van Nieukerken in Fauna Europaea). See NDBC interactive map.

Distribution elsewhere: Widespread in continental Europe including Andorra, Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Danish mainland, Estonia, Finland, French mainland, Germany, Greek mainland, Hungary, Italian mainland, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Macedonia, Norwegian mainland, Poland, Romania, Russia - Central and North, Sicily, Slovakia, Spanish mainland, Sweden, Switzerland, The Netherlands and Ukraine. Also recorded in East Palaearctic, Near East, North Africa and Nearctic region (Karsholt and van Nieukerken in Fauna Europaea).

NBN Atlas links to known host species:

Melilotus altissimus, Melilotus officinalis

British and Irish Parasitoids in Britain and elsewhere:

Gelis avarus (Förster 1850) 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

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Last updated 15-Apr-2018  Brian Pitkin Top of page