Coleophora albidella

Alternative names
White Sallow Case-bearer

Wingspan 13 to 16 mm. Coleophora albidella is white with sparse, sometimes obscure, darker speckling, and has a noticeable buff tuft at the base of the antenna.

Identification difficulty

This species occurs where small-leaved species of willow (Salix) grow, such as wet or marshy areas, damp woodland and fixed dunes. 

When to see it

The adult moth is on the wing in June and July, and often comes to light.

Life History

The larva bores into expanding leaf buds, and later skeletonizes young leaves, rarely mining a leaf in the usual manner of other Coleophora species. It builds a 'pistol case' from silk and fragments of leaf and frass. The sides of the case are usually adorned with hairs from the leaf surface, this feature serving to distinguish it from the similar case of Coleophora anatipennella, which feeds on Blackthorn (Prunus spinosa) and other rosaceous trees and shrubs.

UK Status

It is widely distributed in the southern half of the British Isles. In the Butterfly Conservation's Microlepidoptera Report 2011 this species was classified as local.

VC55 Status

It appears to be uncommon in Leicestershire and Rutland, where there are few records. L&R Moth Group status = D (rare or rarely recorded).

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Leicestershire & Rutland Map


Yellow squares = NBN records (all known data)
Coloured circles = NatureSpot records: 2020+ | 2015-2019 | pre-2015

UK Map