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Coleophora 'flutipennella' on Oak

Distinguishing between the final cases of Cleophora flavipennella and Coleophora luitpennella on Oak (Quercus) is not possible but progress was made by Brian Goodey with their winter cases (Ent Rec, 104,1992, p169-171).

 His findings were that the winter cases of these two Coleophoras could be distinguished by examining the anal end of the case. Coleophora flavipennella has a patch of leaf tissue incorporated into the case, seen as a raised area, whereas in Coleophora lutipennella this raised area does not exist.

The raised area can be clearly seen in the case of Coleophora flavipennella seen opposite. The distinctive hump is bordered by ridges of silk, and from the hump you can see a lobe of the leaf indicated by two parallel lines to form a 'U'-shape (shown in blue). These features match those seen in the slides made for the Ent Rec article.

The winter cases of these two species are shown below for comparison

Brian Goodey and Rob Edmunds - June 2004



Coleophora flavipennella - winter case Coleophora lutipennella - winter case (vacated)

The development of Coleophora flavipennella:



Rob Edmunds discovered a case of Coleophora flavipennella (the case illustrated above) on an oak bud in Fleet on 26.iv.2004 and followed its development through photographically.


The winter case can be seen opposite on the oak bud.




Indoors, the case became active, which coincided also with the oak leaves locally beginning to emerge from their buds.

These leaves provided a food supply for the young larva and it expanded its case on 1.v.2004 (seen left)

Shortly after, the larva became inactive and started to excise a strip from the edge of an oak leaf (2.v.2004), which formed the basis of its final case.

Below - the left hand photo shows the excised area as a dark brown strip (top left of the leaf) and the photo to the right shows the underside of the leaf, with the final case still being formed. The winter case is visible to the top left of this.





The new case then detached from the leaf and can be seen opposite, with the winter case to the left of it.

The larva continued to feed - attaching the case to the leaf whilst it extensively excavated from the interior of the leaf.


The 'pock' marks from two previous feeding positions can be seen in the photo.







Images: Rob Edmunds, 2004

By 9th May the larva was preparing to pupate: It left the leaf and pupated on the side of the container:


Newsletter of leafmines.co.uk 

June 2004