Coleophora niveicostella Zeller, 1839

drab case-bearer

Coleophora niveicostella case

from Toll (1962a)

case

Larva in a slender, brownish black, bivalved sheath case of 7-8 mm. The oral half is tubular, the rear part strongly laterally compressed. Mouth angle 30°.

Actually the case only looks like a sheath case. The larva cuts off mined leaves, after having removed the complete leaf margin: what is left is an upper and a lower epidermis, connected by the stub of the petiole. Leaves treated in this way are placed in front of the old case, the stub dorsally, and pointing forwards. The stubs together form a low dorsal keel. The case in fact is a composite leaf case. However, the larva adds so much silk (also because the leaves are too small to form a complete tube) that the leaf fragments are obliterated (Emmet ao, 1996a).

host plants

Lamiaceae, monophagous

Thymus praecox, pulegioides, serpyllum.

Szőcs (1977a) adds Sarothamnus; that must concern a stray individual.

phenology

Larvae are full fed in mid-June (Emmet ao, 1996a).

BENELUX

BE recorded (Phegea, 2010).

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

LUX not recorded (Fauna Europaea, 2010).

distribution within Europe

From Sweden and Latvia to Spain, Italy, and Greece, and from Britain to Romania (Fauna Europaea, 2010).

larva

Sometimes the cases are difficult to distinguish from those of the much more common C. albitarsella. A differential character is that the larva of niveicostella has the metanotum unicolorous with remainder of the pale greenish, while in albitarsella the metanotum bears two oval black sclerites. See Suire (1961a) and Emmet ao (1996a) for descriptions of the larva.

notes

The small mined leaves remain green and/or are dropped soon; this makes the cases extremely difficult to find (Emmet ao, 1996a).

references

Baldizzone (1979a, 1983c, 2004a), Biesenbaum & van der Wolf (1999a), Buhr (1937a), Emmet, Langmaid, Bland ao (1996a), Hering (1957a), Huisman & Koster (2000a), Huisman, Koster, van Nieukerken & Ulenberg (2005a), Kuchlein & Donner (1993a), Kuchlein & de Vos (1999a), Patzak (1974a,b), De Prins (1998a), Razowski (1990a), Robbins (1991a), Suire (1961a), Šulcs (1996a), Szőcs (1977a), Toll (1952a, 1962a), Wullaert (2018a).

mod 19.x.2019