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 vibicella (Hübner, 1813)
[Lepidoptera: Coleophoridae]

Large Gold Case-bearer

Tinea vibicella Hübner, 1813. Europ. Schmett. Tinea: 45.
Coleophora vibicella (Hübner, 1813).

Leaf-miner and case-bearer: Larva in a huge (19 mm) shining black tubular silken case; mouth angle 60°. The end of the case is strongly rolled in (remnant of the youth case) and bears a small pallium (Bladmineerders van Europa).

The final case is the largest of any coleophorid in the UK, being 19mm long. The anal end of this case incorporates the remains of the spiral first case and is hooded in a pallium (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).

Described in detail by Emmet at al. (1996a) (Bladmineerders van Europa).

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.

Comments: A very rare and declining species, known from a very few sites in the UK. (British leafminers).

Hosts in Great Britain & Ireland:

Genista tinctoria Dyer's Greenweed British Wild Flowers by John Somerville et al. British leafminers
Genista tinctoria Dyer's Greenweed British Wild Flowers by John Somerville et al. Pitkin & Plant

Hosts elsewhere:

Chamaespartium sagittale     Bladmineerders van Europa
Genista tinctoria Dyer's Greenweed British Wild Flowers by John Somerville et al. Bladmineerders van Europa
Vicia       Bladmineerders van Europa

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

Time of year - adults: Currently unknown.

Distribution in Great Britain & Ireland: Britain including the Channel Is. (Karsholt and van Nieukerken in Fauna Europaea) including East Sussex (VC14), South Hampshire (VC11), West Kent (VC16), West Sussex (VC13) and Worcestershire (VC37) (NBN Gateway).

NBN Grid Map:

NBN Grid Map

Coleophora vibicella
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 Albania, Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Czech Republic, French mainland, Germany, Hungary, Italian mainland, Luxembourg, Poland, Portuguese mainland, Romania, Russia - South, Slovakia, Spanish mainland, Switzerland, The Netherlands and Ukraine. Also recorded in East Palaearctic and Near East (Karsholt and van Nieukerken in Fauna Europaea).

NBN Interactive Grid Maps of known host species:

Genista tinctoria

British and Irish Parasitoids in Britain and elsewhere:

Copidosoma peticus (Walker, 1846) Encyrtidae: Encyrtinae
Bracon osculator Nees, 1811 Braconidae: Braconinae
Orgilus rugosus (Nees, 1834) Braconidae: Orgilinae
Campoplex rufipes Gravenhorst, 1829 Ichneumonidae: Campopleginae
Gelis cursitans (Fabricius 1775) Ichneumonidae: Cryptinae
Gelis meigenii (Förster, 1850) Ichneumonidae: Cryptinae
Gelis trux (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 29-Jul-2016  Brian Pitkin Top of page