Plant Parasites of Europe

leafminers, galls and fungi

Coleophora lutarea

Coleophora lutarea (Haworth, 1828)

on Stellaria


The larva passes almost its entire life in a capsule, feeding on the ripening seeds; at the outside nothing betrays its presence. Only when full-grown, it makes a silken case within the now empty and dry capsule, that has been cut loose from its peduncle; only the tip of the case projects from the mouth of the capsule. Sometimes the larva continues for a while feeding on another capsule, but most often it leaves the host plant and walks up a tree. Here it gnaws a cavity in the bark, leaving the case behind, and enters the winter diapause.

host plants

Caryophyllaceae, narrowly monophagous

Stellaria holostea.


The larvae are full fed and leave their capsule in mid-June.

distribution within Europe

Most of Europa, not in Ireland and the Balkan Peninsula; Corley ao, (PESI, 2018).


Observed in Belgium (De Prins & Steeman) and in the Netherlands (Microlepidoptera).


Metriotes lutarea; Metriotes modestella (Duponchel, 1838).


Arbeitsgemeinschaft Microlepidoptera Bayern (2017a), Bauer, Stübner, Neinhuis & Nuss (2012a), Biesenbaum & van der Wolf (1999a), Corley, Marabuto, Maravalhas ao (2008a), Corley, Nunes, Rosete & Ferreira (2019a), Corley, Rosete, Gonçalves ao (2018a), Emmet, Langmaid, Bland ao (1996a), Ivinskis & Savenkov (1991a), Pröse (1995a), Patzak (1974a,b), De Prins & Steeman (2011a), Robbins (1991a), Toll (1962a).

Last modified 21.ii.2022