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 betulella Heinemann, 1877
[Lepidoptera: Coleophoridae]

White Birch Case-bearer


Coleophora betulella Heinemann, 1877. Schmett. Deutsch Schweiz.: 583.


Leaf-miner and case-bearer: Larva mines leaves in autumn. Spring feeding is by grazing, usually on the underside of larger leaves, or feeding on the edges of small leaves. The full-grown case is black, pistol-shaped, 7 mm long (British leafminers), rather like the closely related C. ibipennella, which feeds on oak. Indeed, at one time they were believed to be conspecific (UKMoths).

Prior to hibernation the young larva makes full depth mines; in spring window feeding takes place. In its final stage the larva lives in a matt pistol case about 7 mm in length, that with a mouth angle of 30°-45° is standing obliquely on the leaf (Bladmineerders van Europa).

The case is also illustrated in the Encyclopedia of Life.

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 by Suire (1961a) (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.

Hosts in Great Britain & Ireland:

Betulaceae        
Betula       British leafminers
Betula       Pitkin & Plant
Betula       UKMoths

Hosts elsewhere:

Betulaceae        
Betula       Belgian Lepidoptera
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

Time of year - larvae: Late August to October, feeding again from April to May or early June (British leafminers).

Time of year - adults: June and July (UKMoths).

Distribution in Great Britain & Ireland: Distributed thinly in England and Wales as far north as Cumbria, and occupies heathy habitats where the foodplant grows (UKMoths) including Bedfordshire (VC30), Cambridgeshire (VC29), East Suffolk (VC25), Huntingdonshire (VC31), North Essex (VC19), South Wiltshire and West Kent (NBN Gateway).

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

NBN Grid Map:

NBN Grid Map

Coleophora betulella
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 Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Danish mainland, Estonia, Finland, French mainland, Germany, Hungary, Italian mainland, Latvia, Lithuania, Norwegian mainland, Poland, Romania, Russia - Central and South, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spanish mainland, Sweden, and The Netherlands (Karsholt and van Nieukerken in Fauna Europaea).

NBN Interactive Grid Maps of known host species:

Betula pendula, Betula pubescens

British and Irish Parasitoids in Britain and elsewhere:

Ichneumonoidea  
Dolichogenidea breviventris (Ratzeburg, 1848) Braconidae: Microgastrinae
Apophua bipunctoria (Thunberg 1822) Ichneumonidae: Banchinae
Bathythrix thomsoni (Kerrich, 1942) Ichneumonidae: Cryptinae
Gelis areator (Panzer, 1804) 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
UKMoths

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Last updated 29-Jul-2016  Brian Pitkin Top of page