and case-bearer: A complex life cycle with the larvae intially mining the leaves,
before forming a small case in the autumn of the year. The final
case is 6-8 mm long and the feeding signs are very visible with
the larva being able to leave its case and enter the leaf to feed
larva begins by making a frass-filled corridor of about 1 cm length;
then the corridor widens into a blotch. The larva then cuts an elongated
piece of epidermis out out the upper and lower epidermis of this
blotch and uses it to construct its first case. In first case (elsewhere
already in the mine) it passes its first winter. After hibernation
it makes a new case in the same way, and later, after another hibernation,
a third one. The case of the full-grown larva is a spathulate leaf
case of 6-8 mm, composed of two elongates pieces of epidermis. The
case is straight; the rear end is somewhat pointed and bivalved.
The mouth angle is 90°. The full depth mines that are made by glitzella often occupy half a leaf, and may contain some
frass grains. This is because the lava, after having secured its
case with silk on the leaf, often leaves the case altogether and
may immerse itself deeply in the mine (Bladmineerders van Europa).
of Coleophora glitzella
on Vaccinium vitis-idaea
Image: © Duncan Williams (British
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
Dissection Group (check for update).
Hosts in Great Britain & Ireland:
of year - larvae: Two year cycle. Mid-autumn to November, March
to May, September to November, March to April (British
of year - adults: Currently unknown.
in Great Britain & Ireland: Britain including East Ross (VC106),
South Aberdeen and Surrey
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elsewhere: Widespread in continental Europe including Austria,
Czech Republic, Danish mainland, Estonia, Finland, Germany, Italian
mainland, Latvia, Lithuania, Norwegian mainland, Poland, Romania,
Russia - North, Slovakia, Slovenia, Sweden, Switzerland and The
Netherlands (Karsholt and van Nieukerken in Fauna Europaea).
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British and Irish Parasitoids in Britain and elsewhere: