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 caespititiella (Zeller, 1939)
[Lepidoptera: Coleophoridae]

Buff Rush Case-bearer


Coleophora caespititiella (Zeller, 1939)
Coleophora agrammella Wood, 1892.


Seed-feeder and case-bearer: The larva initially feeds inside a seed capsule. The case is made by the final instar larva and is decorated with frass and vegetable material. It also has characteristic 'gussets', which allow for expansion (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).

At the larval stage caespititiella can be distinguished from other Juncus feeders by its grey case heavily encrusted with blackish frass and debris, with paler longitudinal expansion grooves (UKMoths).

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

Comments: Until 1955, and sometimes later, the name of this species was incorrectly given to the ubiquitous rush feeder, C. alticolella (UKMoths).

Hosts in Great Britain & Ireland:

Juncaceae        
Juncus       British leafminers
Juncus conglomeratus Compact Rush   British leafminers
Juncus subuliflorus/
conglomeratus
    UKMoths
Juncus effusus Soft rush British Wild Flowers by John Somerville et al. British leafminers
Juncus effusus Soft rush British Wild Flowers by John Somerville et al. UKMoths
Juncus gerardii Saltmarsh Rush British Wild Flowers by John Somerville et al. British leafminers
Juncus gerardii Saltmarsh Rush British Wild Flowers by John Somerville et al. UKMoths
Juncus inflexus Hard Rush British Wild Flowers by John Somerville et al. British leafminers, as Juncus articulatus
Juncus inflexus Hard Rush British Wild Flowers by John Somerville et al. UKMoths, as Juncus articulatus
Juncus inflexus Hard Rush British Wild Flowers by John Somerville et al. British leafminers
Juncus inflexus Hard Rush British Wild Flowers by John Somerville et al. UKMoths

Hosts elsewhere: Currently unknown.

Time of year - larvae: In August it lives, without a case, concealed in a rush seed. In September it feeds on Juncus seeds from its case, 4 to 5 mm long, often hidden in the seedhead. In late September or October the full fed larva either leaves the foodplant or hides itself in the seedhead for the winter (UKMoths). Most larvae are fully fed late September/early October and then overwinter (British leafminers).

Time of year - adults: Mid May to June at dusk and night (UKMoths); August to May (British leafminers).

Distribution in Great Britain & Ireland: Widespread and locally common in England, but less so in Wales and Scotland (UKMoths) including Bedfordshire (VC30), Carmarthenshire (VC44), Cheshire (VC58), Cumberland (VC70), East Kent (VC15), East Norfolk (VC27), East Suffolk (VC25), Glamorganshire (VC41), Herefordshire (VC36), Hertfordshire (VC20), Huntingdonshire (VC31), Kintyre (VC101), Middlesex (VC21), North Somerset (VC6), North Wiltshire (VC7), Shropshire (VC40), South Hampshire (VC11), South Lancashire (VC59), South Wiltshire (VC8), Staffordshire (VC39), Surrey (VC17), West Kent (VC16), West Norfolk (VC28), West Suffolk (VC26), Westmorland (VC69) and Worcestershire (VC37) (VC37), (NBN Gateway). Also Rixton, Warrington, Cheshire (British leafminers) and Channel Is.

Also recorded in the Republic of Ireland (Karsholt and van Nieukerken in Fauna Europaea). See also Ireland's NBDC interactive map.

It is widespread and locally common in England, but less so in Wales and Scotland (UKMoths).

NBN Grid Map:

NBN Grid Map

Coleophora caespititiella
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, Croatia, Czech Republic, Danish mainlan, Estonia, Finland, French mainland, Germany, Hungary, Italian mainland, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Macedonia, Norwegian mainland, Poland, Portuguese mainland, Romania, Russia - South, Sardinia, Slovakia, Spanish mainland, Sweden, Switzerland, The Netherlands and Yugoslavia (Karsholt and van Nieukerken in Fauna Europaea).

Also recorded in the Near East and Nearctic Region (Karsholt and van Nieukerken in Fauna Europaea).

NBN Interactive Grid Maps of known host species:

Juncus conglomeratus, Juncus effusus, Juncus gerardii, Juncus inflexus

British and Irish Parasitoids in Britain and elsewhere:

Chalcidoidea  
Euderus viridis Thomson, 1878 Eulophidae: Entiinae
Miotropis unipuncta (Nees, 1834) Eulophidae: Eulophinae
Ichneumonoidea  
Bracon obscurator Nees, 1811 Braconidae: Braconinae
Chelonus corvulus Marshall, 1885 Braconidae: Cheloninae
Dolichogenidea infima (Haliday, 1834) Braconidae: Microgastrinae
Gelis discedens (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
UKMoths

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Last updated 16-Sep-2016  Brian Pitkin Top of page