Small Clover Case-bearer - Coleophora frischella


Wingspan 11.5 to 14.5 mm. In certain lights this species shows the same brassy metallic look as other family members.

Similar Species

Almost identical to Coleophora alcyonipennella. These two species are not separable with certainty using external features so identification of likely specimens should be by dissection.

Identification difficulty
Recording advice

Records for this species must be confirmed by gen det.


It inhabits grassy areas where the food plant, clover (Trifolium sp.), is abundant. 

When to see it

There are some indications that this species might be univoltine in contrast to C. alcyonipennella, so it is particularly worth checking specimens found in May and June.

Life History

The larvae feed on the seeds of clover from within a cryptic case.

UK Status

Thought to be uncommon in Britain, although the distribution of this species is not well known, possibly due to difficulty of identification and confusion with Coleophora alcyonipennella. In the Butterfly Conservation's Microlepidoptera Report 2011 this species was classified as Nationally Scarce B.

VC55 Status

Rarely recorded in Leicestershire and Rutland.

37.034 BF517a

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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