Plant Parasites of Europe

leafminers, galls and fungi

Coleophora pennella

Coleophora pennella (Denis & Schiffermüller, 1775)

bugloss case-bearer

Coleophora pennella case

Haarlem, 20.v.2021 © Laurens van der Linde (not on the regular host plant)

Coleophora pennella

another specimen

Coleophora pennella imago


Coleophora pennella case

Echium vulgare, Belgium, prov. Namur, Saint-Servais, Asty-Moulin © Jean-Yves Baugnée

Coleophora pennella case

Belgium, prov. Namur, Saint-Servais, Asty-Moulin © Jean-Yves Baugnée

Coleophora pennella case and imago

case and adult


The young larva feeds on the developing seeds and hibernates in its first case which is made of the tip of a petal. After hibernation it makes a hoary, laterally flattened composite leaf case (resembling, says Hering, a willow catkin). Fleck mines are made at the margin of the leaves, that thereby look peculiarly damaged (van Breemen, 1983a; Emmet ao, 1996a). Mouth angle 70°.

host plants

Boraginaceae, oligophagous (?)

Anchusa officinalis; Cynoglossum officinale; Echium gaditanum, italicum, vulgare; Lithospermum officinale; Myosotis; Nonea pulla; Onosma; Pentaglottis; Pulmonaria officinalis; Symphytum officinale.

Apart from the Boraginaceae listed above, several more genera are mentioned in the literature: Asteraceae: Hieracium; Lamiaceae: Lycopus, Nepeta, Origanum, Stachys officinalis; Scrophulariaceae: Verbascum. If indeed the larva has built its case out of leaf material from these plants, the hairynes and general aspect of the case will vary strongly.


Larvae are full grown in mid May – early June (Emmet ao, 1996a).


BE recorded (Phegea, 2009)

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

LUX recorded (Fauna Europaea, 2009).

distribution within Europe

All Europe, perhaps Ireland excluded (Fauna Europaea, 2009).


Coleophora onosmella (Brahm, 1791); C. diffinis Staudinger, 1879.

parasitoids, predators

Necremnus metalarus.


Klimesch (1958c) found full grown larvae, ready to pupate, spun to dead grass culms.


Ahr (1966a), Amsel & Hering (1933a), Baldizzone (1983c, 1985d, 2004a, 1995b), Baldizzone & Luquet (1981a), Baldizzone & Nel (1992a), Baldizzzone, van der Wolf & Landry (2996a), Beavan & Heckford (2015b), Biesenbaum & van der Wolf (1999a), Bouček (1959a), van Breemen (1983a), Emmet ao (1996a), Hering (1957a), Huertas Dionisio (2007a), Huisman & Koster (1999a), Ivinskis & Savenkov (1991a), Klimesch (1958c), Klimesch & Skala (1936a), Kuchlein & Donner (1993a), Kuchlein & de Vos (1999a), Leutsch (2011a), Nel (1992b,c), Patzak (1974a), De Prins (2010a), Razowski (1990a), Robbins (1991a), Skala (1951a), Skala & Zavřel (1945a), Sønderup (1949a), Stammer (2016a), Szőcs (1977a, 1981a), Thomann (1956a), Toll (1962a).

Last modified 23.vii.2023