Plant Parasites of Europe

leafminers, galls and fungi

Coleophora spinella

Coleophora spinella (Schrank, 1802)

apple & plum case-bearer

Coleophora spinella case

Crataegus laevigata, Luxemburg, Kautenbach

Coleophora spinella youth case

Crataegus monogyna, Nederhorst den Berg; youth case, after hibernation

Coleophora spinella: case on Sorbus aucuparia

Sorbus aucuparia, Flevoland, Reve-Abbertbos © Hans Jonkman


The larva lives two years. In the first year, in autumn, a composite leaf case is made that resembles a boomerang: front and rear end stand at almost right angles. In its second year the larva makes a trivalved tubular leaf case of about 6 mm, with a mouth angle of c. 45°; the case tapers somewhat to both ends.

host plants

Rosaceae, oligophagous

Cotoneaster; Crataeguslaevigata, monogyna; Cydonia oblonga; Malus domestica; Mespilus germanica; Prunus avium, cerasus, padus, spinosa; Pyrus communis; Sorbus aucuparia.

Mostly on Hawthorn.


Final cases in late May (Emmet ao, 1996a).


BE recorded (Phegea, 2010).
NE recorded (Kuchlein & de Vos, 1999a;, 2010).
LUX recorded (Ellis: Kautenbach)

distribution within Europe

From Fennoscandia to Spain and Italy, and from Ireland to Romania; also Central and South Russia (Fauna Europaea, 2010).



Coleophora cerasivorella Packard, 1870.


It is impossible to distinguish the cases or larvae of C. coracipennella, prunifoliae, serratella, and spinella; only breeding, and to a lesser extent the host plant, can lead to an identification.

Coleophora spinella on inflorescence

Crataegus monogyna, Castricum: although this is exceptional for leaf miners, the larvae of C. spinella -if indeed they are spinella– can be found in numbers on the still closed flower buds.

Coleophora spinella on flower buds of Crataegus monogyna

Crataegus monogyna, Belgium, prov. Namur, Viroinval, Treignes © Stéphane Claerebout

Coleophora spinella damage to flowers of Crataegus monogyna

characteristic damage to the flower


Baldizzone (1979a, 2004a, 2020a), Baldizzone, Tokár, Z & S Kovács (2004a), Baldizzone, van der Wolf & Landry (2006a), Biesenbaum & van der Wolf (1999a), Buschmann, Fazekas & Pastorális (2011a), Chowaniec & Larysz (2024a), Corley, Marabuto, Maravalhas ao (2011a), Emmet, Langmaid, Bland ao (1996a), Hering (1957a), Huemer (1988a), Ivinskis & Savenkov (1991a), Kuchlein & Donner (1993a), Kuchlein & de Vos (1999a), Langmaid (1991a), Michaelis (1983a), Nel (1992b), Patzak (1974a), De Prins (1998a), De Prins & Steeman (2013a), Razowski (1990a), Robbins (1991a), Suire (1961a), Toll (1952a, 1962a), Tomasi (2014a), Wegner (2010a), Wieser (2008a), Wimmer (2001a).

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