Coleophora ibipennella

Alternative names
Forest Case-bearer

Wingspan about 12 mm. The adults have white forewings and are similar to a number of other species, with only subtle differences in size and patterning in the forewing cilia to help distinguish them. The larvae of this species, which feed on Oak, create a distinctive 'pistol' shaped case from silk, rather like the closely related Coleophora betulella, which feeds on Birch. Indeed, at one time they were believed to be conspecific.

Similar Species

Coleophora betulella

Identification difficulty

Adult Larval case (foodplant must be stated)

Recording advice

Adult: Unless identified by a recognised expert, a photo is required and the specimen should be identified by examination of genitalia.

Larval Case:  Unless identified by a recognised expert, a photo is required. If the photo doesn't show the key ID features then in the comments box describe the size and identifying characters you have observed – the larval foodplant must be stated.


Occupies habitats where Oak (the larval foodplant) grows.

When to see it

The adult moths fly in July and August.

Life History

Larva feeds on Oak leaves.

UK Status

Distributed mainly in the south-east of England, this species occupies oak woodland. Confusion over its distribution is compounded by the fact that this species was formerly known as ardeaepennella, and the previous ibipennella is a Birch feeder, now known as betulella. In the Butterfly Conservation's Microlepidoptera Report 2011 this species was classified as local.

VC55 Status

Rarely recorded in Leicestershire and Rutland.

37.052 BF535

Leicestershire & Rutland Map


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

UK Map