Coleophora alcyonipennella (Kollar, 1832)
Clover Casebearer
(previously known as Ornix alcyonipennella)
COLEOPHORIDAE ,   GELECHIOIDEA
 
Don Herbison-Evans
(donherbisonevans@outlook.com)
and
Stella Crossley

Coleophora alcyonipennella
(Photo: courtesy of Donald Hobern, Burrill Lake, New South Wales)

These caterpillars feed on the flowers of

  • White Clover ( Trifolium repens, FABACEAE ).

    The caterpillars live singly in a shelter composed of a single flower floret closed with silk. The caterpillars pupate in their floret which they detach when the flower dies.

    These adult moths are black with an orange metallic iridescence. The moths have a wingspan of about 1 cm. The moth is superficially similar to Coleophora frischella, and can only be distinguished by dissecting the genitalia.

    The species was originally found in Europe, including

  • United Kingdom,

    but has been introduced into

  • New Zealand,

    as well as into Australia, and is now occurring in

  • New South Wales,
  • Australian Capital Territory, and
  • Tasmania.


    Further reading:

    L.J. Dumbleton,
    The biology and control of Coleophora spp. (Lepidoptera-Coleophoridae) on white clover,
    New Zealand Journal of Agricultural Research,
    Volume 6, June and August, (1963), pp. 277-292.

    Vincenz Kollar,
    Beiträge zur Landeskunde Oesterreich's unter der Enns,
    Wien 2 (1832), p. 99.


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    (written 31 March 2013, updated 17 October 2013)