Plant Parasites of Europe

leafminers, galls and fungi

Coleophora coracipennella

Coleophora coracipennella (Hübner, 1796)

blackthorn case-bearer

Coleophora coracipennella case

from Toll (1962a)


The final case is a tubular leaf case, 6-7 mm long, light brown at first, darker later. The rear end is trivalved, the mouth opening is around 45°. The larvae live at the underside of the leaves, and make sizable fleck mines.

host plants

Rosaceae, oligophagous

Cotoneaster; Crataegus; Cydonia; Malus sylvestris; Mespilus; Prunus avium, cerasus, domestica, fruticosa, padus, serotina, spinosa; Pyrus; Sorbus aucuparia.

For references to other host plants, also outside of the Rosaceae, see the note below.


The larvae are full fed in late May (Emmet ao, 1996a).


BE recorded (Phegea, 2010).

NE recorded (Kuchlein & de Vos, 1999a;, 2010).

LUX not recorded (Fauna Europaea, 2010).

distribution within Europe

From Germany to Sicily, and from Britain to Romania; also Estonia and South Russia (Fauna Europaea, 2010).


See Emmet ao (1996a).


Coleophora serratella: Toll (1952a, 1962a), Hering (1957a), Huber (1969a) ao; Coleophora varii Patzak, 1969.


It is impossible to distinguish the larvae or cases of C. coracipennella, prunifoliae, serratella, and spinella; only breeding, and to a very limited extend the host plant, can lead to an identification. Coleophora nigricella (Stephens, 1834) formally is a junior synonym of C. coracipennella, but mostly, inadvertently, the name has been used as a collective term for those four species.

Whitebread (1975a) believed to see a difference between coracipennella at the one hand, and serratella and spinella at the other: when seen from behind the three valves would form an Y standing up in the first species, an inverted Y in the other two. To my knowledge this suggestion has not been explored later on.

Coleophorid larvae are active animals, and on their way to a suitable spot for pupation they can easily stray onto a plant on which they would never feed. Such tramps easily can lead to erroneous host plant associations. Because the four “nigricella‘s” together are quite abundant, the number of incidental, erroneous hostplant references in this group is considerable.


Aguiar & Karsholt (2006a), Baldizzone (1984a, 2004a, 2020a), Baldizzone & Nel (1992a), Baldizzone, van der Wolf & Landry (2006a), Biesenbaum & van der Wolf (1999a), Emmet, Langmaid, Bland ao (1996a), Heckford (1986a), Hering (1957a), Huber (1969a), Huemer (1988a), Kasy (1983a), Kuchlein & Donner (1993a), Kuchlein & de Vos (1999a), Meijer, Smit, Beukeboom & Schilthuizen (2012a), Nel (1992c), Nowakowski (1954a), Patzak (1969a, 1974a), De Prins (1998a), Robbins (1991a), Sefrová (2005a), Stolnicu (2008a), Suire (1961a), Whitebread (1975a, 1977a).

Last modified 6.i.2023