Plant Parasites of Europe

leafminers, galls and fungi

Coleophora albitarsella

Coleophora albitarsella Zeller, 1849

white-legged case-bearer

Coleophora albitarsella cases and mines

Glechoma hederacea, Belgium, prov. Liège, Angleur, Ourthe © Jean-Yves Baugnée

Coleophora albitarsella case

an individual case

Coleophora albitarsella on Glechoma hederacea

Glechoma hederacea, Belgium, Gent, Maaltebruggepark, 31.x.2022 © Dirk Duytschaever: usually the larvae feed at the underside of a leaf; but not always!

Coleophora albitarsella

Glechoma hederacea, Diemerbos

Coleophora albitarsella case

Origanum vulgare, Denmark, Zealand, Bognæs; © Hans Henrik Bruun

Coleophora albitarsella: case on Salvia verticillata

Salvia verticillata, Wageningen © Maarten Immerzeel

Coleophora albitarsella: feeding pattern on Agastache foeniculum

Agastache foeniculum, Wageningen © Maarten Immerzeel: feeding pattern

Coleophora albitarsella: case on Agastache foeniculum



Sheath case. The fully developed case is slender, shining black brown, about 9 mm long. Towards the end a narrow, transparent yellowish ventral keel. Mouth angle 50-60°. Cases at the leaf underside.

host plants

Lamiaceae, oligophagous

Agastache foeniculum; Clinopodium vulgare; Glechoma hederacea; Lycopus europaeus; Melissa officinalis; Melittis melissophyllum; Mentha aquatica, arvensis; Nepeta cataria; Orignanum vulgare; Prunella vulgaris; Salvia pratensis, verbenaca, verticillata; Satureja; Stachys, Thymus.

Michaelis (1983a) doubted the occurrence on Origanum, but the picture above refutes that. Maarten Immerzeel found in his Wageningen garden most cases on Menta, several on Melissa officinalis, two on both Salvia verticillata and Agastache foeniculum, and none on Glechoma or Stachys!


Larvae are full grown around May (Emmet ao, 1996a).


BE recorded (Phegea, 2009).

NE recorded (Kuchlein & de Vos, 1999a;, 2009).

LUX recorded (Ellis, Kautenbach).

distribution within Europe

Almost entire Europe, but not known from Ireland and Greece (Fauna Europaea, 2009).



In continental Europe the species also lives on Thymus (Patzak, 1974a; Szőcs, 1977a; Razowski, 1990a). Then confusion may arise with the rare C. niveicostella, that is bound to thyme. Its case is indistinguishable from that of C. albitarsella. A differentiating character is that in the larvae of niveicostella the metanotum is concolorous with the remainder of the pale green , while in albitarsella the metanotum bears two black oval sclerites.


Baldizzone (1979a, 2020a), Beiger (1958a, 1960a), Biesenbaum & van der Wolf (1999a), Buhr (1935a,b, 1936a), Emmet, Langmaid, Bland ao, (1996a), Hering (1921a,b, 1957a), Huisman, Koster, Muus & van Nieukerken (2013a),Ivinskis & Savenkov (1991a), Kasy (1987a), Kuchlein & Donner (1993a), Kuchlein & de Vos (1999a), Lhomme (1934c), Maček (1999a), Michaelis (1983a), Michna (1975a), Mitterberger (1931a), Nel (1992b,c), Patzak (1974a,b), De Prins (2010a), De Prins & Steeman (2011a), Pröse (1995a), Razowski (1990a), Robbins (1991a), Skala & Zavřel (1945a), Sønderup (1949a), Suire (1961a), Szőcs (1977a, 1978a, 1981a), Toll (1952a, 1962a).

Last modified 6.i.2023