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


Coleophora vibicella (Hübner, 1813)
[Lepidoptera: Coleophoridae]

Large Gold Case-bearer

Tinea vibicella Hübner, 1813. Europ. Schmett. Tinea: 45.
Coleophora vibicella (Hübner, 1813).

Leaf-miner and case-bearer: Larva in a huge (19 mm) shining black tubular silken case; mouth angle 60°. The end of the case is strongly rolled in (remnant of the youth case) and bears a small pallium (Bladmineerders van Europa).

The final case is the largest of any coleophorid in the UK, being 19mm long. The anal end of this case incorporates the remains of the spiral first case and is hooded in a pallium (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).

Described in detail by Emmet at al. (1996a) (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 species is included in

Comments: A very rare and declining species, known from a very few sites in the UK. (British leafminers).

Hosts in Great Britain and Ireland:

Genista tinctoria Dyer's Greenweed British Wild Flowers by John Somerville et al. British leafminers
Genista tinctoria Dyer's Greenweed British Wild Flowers by John Somerville et al. Pitkin & Plant

Hosts elsewhere:

Chamaespartium sagittale     Bladmineerders van Europa
Genista tinctoria Dyer's Greenweed British Wild Flowers by John Somerville et al. Bladmineerders van Europa
Vicia       Bladmineerders van Europa

Time of year - larvae: September - June (British leafminers).

Time of year - adults: Currently unknown.

Distribution in Great Britain and Ireland: Britain including the Channel Is. (Fauna Europaea) including Cambridgeshire, Dorset, East Sussex, Isle of Wight, South Hampshire, West Kent and West Sussex (NBN Atlas).

Distribution elsewhere: Widespread in continental Europe including Albania, Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Czech Republic, French mainland, Germany, Hungary, Italian mainland, Luxembourg, Poland, Portuguese mainland, Romania, Russia - South, Slovakia, Spanish mainland, Switzerland, The Netherlands and Ukraine. Also recorded in East Palaearctic and Near East (Fauna Europaea).

NBN Atlas links to known host species:

Genista tinctoria

British and Irish Parasitoids in Britain and elsewhere:

Copidosoma peticus (Walker, 1846) Encyrtidae: Encyrtinae
Ichneumonoidea - Links to species no longer available  
Bracon osculator Nees, 1811 Braconidae: Braconinae
Orgilus rugosus (Nees, 1834) Braconidae: Orgilinae
Campoplex rufipes Gravenhorst, 1829 Ichneumonidae: Campopleginae
Gelis cursitans (Fabricius 1775) Ichneumonidae: Cryptinae
Gelis meigenii (Förster, 1850) Ichneumonidae: Cryptinae
Gelis trux (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 Atlas
NHM UK Checklist

Find using Google
Find using Google Scholar
Find images using Google

XHTML Validator
Last updated 11-Jul-2019  Brian Pitkin Top of page