The fully developed larval case, 6 mm long, on cowberry, in April
and May of its second year of life, is easily identified by its
structure of about forty discs of leaf arranged like a pile of coins,
its walking stick shape and the ventral keel of white silk. Each
larva makes a large number of small full depth mines, which can be recognised
by the relatively large hole where a disc of leaf has been excised
for the case (UKMoths).
Feeds on mature leaves and has a two year life cycle. It cuts oval blotches from the leaf and adds them, as rings, to the case. By the end of the first year the case is bent double and almost touches the leaf. The feeding resumes the next spring and further discs are added. The final case is shaped like a walking stick and is 5-6mm long (British
black tubular composite leaf case of about 5-6 mm. The case is composed
of numerous rings, each cut out of the lower epidermis of the hostplant.
The rear end is stromgly curved, like the handle of a walking stick.
Mouth angle 45° (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).
Pupa: The pupae of moths have visible head appendages, wings and legs which lie in sheaths (see examples).
The adult is illustrated in UKMoths. The genitalia are not illustrated by the Lepidoptera
Dissction Group (check for update).
Hosts in Great Britain & Ireland:
of year - larvae: September-April (Emmet et al., 1996a).
of year - adults: Late May to early July (UKMoths).
in Great Britain & Ireland: Occurs on the more sheltered
parts of moors and Scots pine woodland in the Highlands of Scotland,
the Pennine Hills and the Clwyd Hills (UKMoths)
including Cheshire (VC58), Derbyshire (VC57), Easterness (VC96), Kincardineshire (VC91), Shropshire (VC40),
South Aberdeen and Stafford (NBN
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Distribution elsewhere: Widespread in continental Europe including Austria, Belgium,
Czech Republic, Danish mainland, Estonia, Finland, French mainland,
Italian mainland, Latvia, Lithuania, Norwegian mainland, Poland,
Romania, Russia - North, Slovakia, Sweden, Switzerland and The Netherlands
(Karsholt and van Nieukerken in Fauna Europaea).
NBN Interactive Grid Maps of known host species:
British and Irish Parasitoids in Britain and elsewhere: Currently unknown.