(previously known as Ornix alcyonipennella)
(Photo: courtesy of Donald Hobern, Burrill Lake, New South Wales)
These caterpillars feed on the flowers of species of Clover (FABACEAE) including
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 dark brown or 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 across Europe and Asia, including
but has been introduced into
as well as into Australia, and is now occurring in
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.
Beiträge zur Landeskunde Oesterreich's unter der Enns,
Wien 2 (1832), p. 99.
(written 31 March 2013, updated 2 September 2018)