Coleophora serratella

Alternative names
Common Case-bearer

Wingspan 11-14 mm. This is probably the commonest species of British Coleophorids and is found throughout the British Isles wherever its food plants grow. The adult, which appears in June, resembles several other grey-brown Coleophora species. The indistinct rings near the tip of the antenna distinguish it from some of them, but examination of the genitalia is advised for positive identification of non-reared specimens.

Identification difficulty

Often on Elm but also other deciduous trees.

When to see it

The elusive adults emerge in June and July.

Life History

The larva feeds by inserting its head into small mines it creates on the leaves of Birch, Elm, Alder or Hazel. Occasionally it is found feeding on other trees, or on herbaceous plants onto which it has accidentally fallen. Pupation is from June to early July and is in a larval case fixed to a leafsurface in a sunny situation. Sometimes pupation is on plants other than those fed on.

UK Status

The species is widely distributed, though probably under recorded in Britain. In the Butterfly Conservation’s Microlepidoptera Report 2011 this species was classified as common.

VC55 Status

Lack of records suggest that this species is uncommon in Leicestershire and Rutland, but this is possibly due to the difficulty of identification. 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