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 violacea (Ström, 1783)
[Lepidoptera: Coleophoridae]

Violet Case-bearer


Phalaena violacea Ström, 1783
Coleophora hornigi
Toll, 1952. Bull. Soc. ent. Mulhouse: 18, fig'd.
Coleophora albicornuella
Bradley, 1956. Ent. Gaz. 7: 148, fig'd.
Coleophora violacea
(Ström, 1783).


Leaf-miner and case-bearer: The larva feeds on a wide range of trees, shrubs and herbs, favouring Rosaceae, but not exclusively. The fully developed cased larva may be found active in October and again, after winter diapause, in April. Cases, about 6 mm, of diapausing larvae may be found through winter, fixed to a tree or fence post. The dorsal surface of the case is usually covered in leaf fragments, but they can sometimes be worn off almost smooth. The ventral surface is swollen at the middle and has a keel, which usually bends upwards at the posterior. The cases of C. ahenella (on Rhamnus, Frangula, Viburnum and Cornus) and C. potentillae (case less swollen, keel not bent up, resting position less prone) are very similar (UKMoths).

Brownish lobe case that lies almost flat on the leaf, either on the upper or on the lower side. Case widest about the middle. Ventrally there is a distinct keel. Mouth angle 0°. Full depth mines rather large. The flaps of cuticular tissue that serve to enlarge the case are cut out of the upper epidermis. (contrary to C. ahenella and C. potentillae, that use tissue from the lower epidermis). The removal of these tissue flaps creates holes that are much larger than those that serve as the entrance to the mine (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).

The larva is illustrated in Bladmineerders van Europa.

Coleophora violacea larva,  lateral
Coleophora violacea larva, lateral
Image: © Willem Ellis (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 by Martin Kennard. The male and female genitalia are illustrated by the Lepidoptera Dissection Group.

Hosts in Great Britain & Ireland:

Betulaceae        
Alnus       Pitkin & Plant
Betula       Pitkin & Plant
Carpinus betulus Hornbeam British Wild Flowers by John Somerville et al. Pitkin & Plant
Corylus avellana Hazel British Wild Flowers by John Somerville et al. Pitkin & Plant
Caprifoliaceae        
Viburnum lantana Wayfaring-tree British Wild Flowers by John Somerville et al. Pitkin & Plant
Fagaceae        
Castanea sativa Sweet Chestnut British Wild Flowers by John Somerville et al. Pitkin & Plant
Rhamnaceae        

Rhamnus

catharticus Buckthorn British Wild Flowers by John Somerville et al. Pitkin & Plant
Rosaceae        
Agrimonia       Pitkin & Plant
Crataegus       Pitkin & Plant
Filipendula ulmaria Meadowsweet British Wild Flowers by John Somerville et al. Pitkin & Plant
Fragaria vesca Wild Strawberry British Wild Flowers by John Somerville et al. Pitkin & Plant
Malus       Pitkin & Plant
Potentilla       Pitkin & Plant
Prunus spinosa Blackthorn British Wild Flowers by John Somerville et al. Pitkin & Plant
Pyrus communis Pear Pitkin & Plant
Rosa       Pitkin & Plant
Rubus   A bramble   Pitkin & Plant
Sorbus aria Common Whitebeam British Wild Flowers by John Somerville et al. Pitkin & Plant
Sorbus aucuparia Rowan British Wild Flowers by John Somerville et al. Pitkin & Plant
Tiliaceae        
Tilia       Pitkin & Plant
Ulmaceae        
Ulmus       Pitkin & Plant

Hosts elsewhere:

Betulaceae        
Alnus       Bladmineerders van Europa
Betula       Bladmineerders van Europa
Carpinus betulus Hornbeam British Wild Flowers by John Somerville et al. Bladmineerders van Europa
Corylus avellana Hazel British Wild Flowers by John Somerville et al. Bladmineerders van Europa
Cannabiaceae        
Humulus lupulus Hop British Wild Flowers by John Somerville et al. Bladmineerders van Europa
Caprifoliaceae        
Lonicera        
Symphoricarpos albus Snowberry British Wild Flowers by John Somerville et al. Bladmineerders van Europa
Viburnum       Bladmineerders van Europa
Cornaceae        
Cornus       Bladmineerders van Europa

Fagaceae

       
Castanea sativa Sweet Chestnut British Wild Flowers by John Somerville et al. Bladmineerders van Europa
Grossulariaceae        
Ribes       Bladmineerders van Europa
Lythraceae        
Lythrum       Bladmineerders van Europa
Rhamnaceae        
Rhamnus catharticus Buckthorn British Wild Flowers by John Somerville et al. Bladmineerders van Europa
Rosaceae        
Agrimonia       Bladmineerders van Europa
Crataegus       Bladmineerders van Europa
Cydonia oblonga Quince British Wild Flowers by John Somerville et al. Bladmineerders van Europa
Filipendula ulmaria Meadowsweet British Wild Flowers by John Somerville et al. Bladmineerders van Europa
Fragaria vesca Wild Strawberry British Wild Flowers by John Somerville et al. Bladmineerders van Europa
Malus sylvestris Crab Apple British Wild Flowers by John Somerville et al. Bladmineerders van Europa
Mespilus germanica Medlar British Wild Flowers by John Somerville et al. Bladmineerders van Europa
Potentilla       Bladmineerders van Europa
Prunus spinosa Blackthorn British Wild Flowers by John Somerville et al. Bladmineerders van Europa
Pyrus communis Pear Bladmineerders van Europa
Rosa       Bladmineerders van Europa
Rubus   A bramble   Bladmineerders van Europa
Sanguisorba       Bladmineerders van Europa
Sorbus       Bladmineerders van Europa
Staphylaceae        
Staphylea pinnata Bladdernut British Wild Flowers by John Somerville et al. Bladmineerders van Europa
Tiliaceae        
Tilia       Bladmineerders van Europa
Ulmaceae        
Ulmus       Bladmineerders van Europa

Time of year - larvae: July to April (British leafminers).

Time of year - adults: The moth flies in evenings and at night in late May and June (UKMoths).

Distribution in Great Britain & Ireland: A wide variety of habitats throughout Britain (UKMoths) including Bedfordshire (VC30), Buckinghamshire (VC24), Caernarvonshire (VC49), Cambridgeshire (VC29), East Gloucestershire (VC33), Glamorganshire (VC41), Herefordshire (VC36), Hertfordshire (VC20), Merionethshire (VC48), Mid-west Yorkshire (VC64), Middlesex (VC21), North Essex (VC19), North Hampshire (VC12), North Somerset (VC6), North Wiltshire (VC7), South Wiltshire (VC8), Warwickshire (VC38), West Gloucestershire (VC34), West Suffolk (VC26), West Sussex (VC13) and Worcestershire (VC37) (NBN Gateway).

During the day it may be found resting on vegetation (UKMoths).

NBN Grid Map:

NBN Grid Map

Coleophora violacea
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, Greek mainland, Hungary, Italian mainland, Latvia, Lithuania, Norwegian mainland, Poland, Russia - South, Slovakia, Slovenia, Sweden, Switzerland and The Netherlands. Also recorded in Near East and North Africa (Karsholt and van Nieukerken in Fauna Europaea).

NBN Interactive Grid Maps of known host species:

Carpinus betulus, Castanea sativa, Corylus avellana, Cydonia oblonga, Filipendula ulmaria, Fragaria vesca, Humulus lupulus, Malus sylvestris, Mespilus germanica, Prunus spinosa, Pyrus communis, Rhamnus catharticus, Sorbus aria, Sorbus aucuparia, Staphylea pinnata, Symphoricarpos albus, Viburnum lantana

British and Irish Parasitoids in Britain and elsewhere:

Ichneumonoidea  
Ascogaster armata Wesmael, 1835 Braconidae: Cheloninae
Diadegma holopygum (Thomson, 1887) 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 20-Jul-2016  Brian Pitkin Top of page