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 male and female genitalia are illustrated by the Lepidoptera Dissection Group.

Hosts in Great Britain & 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 & Ireland: Present in England and Wales, being commoner in the south. Occurs in areas of open waste ground and grassland (UKMoths); including Bedfordshire (VC30), Buckinghamshire (VC24), Cambridgeshire (VC29), East Gloucestershire (VC33), East Norfolk (VC27), East Suffolk (VC25), Glamorganshire (VC41), Monmouthshire (VC35), North Essex (VC19), North Hampshire (VC12), North Somerset (VC6), North Wiltshire (VC7), South Lancashire (VC59), South Wiltshire (VC8), Staffordshire (VC39), Warwickshire (VC38), West Gloucestershire (VC34), West Norfolk (VC28), West Suffolk (VC26) and Worcestershire (VC37) (NBN Gateway).

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

NBN Grid Map:

NBN Grid Map

Coleophora trifolii
NBN Grid Map : NBN Terms and Conditions

Maps are only displayed if the NBN server is active. N.B. Only publicly available records, if any, are shown by default

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 Interactive Grid Maps of 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 Gateway
NHM UK Checklist

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Last updated 20-Jul-2016  Brian Pitkin Top of page