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Coleophora conspicuella
Knapweed Case-bearer Zeller, 1849
539 / 37.058
Photo © Trevor,  several cases found on knapweed on 27th April 2020 on field margin at Thurston

Similar Suffolk Species: None
Wingspan: 13 - 17.5mm
Flight: June and July
Foodplant:   Common Knapweed
Nat Status: pRDB
Verification Grade:  Adult: 3  Case: C2

Morley’s Final Catalogue: Not listed.

Recent Status: First recorded in Suffolk in 2019, this species is otherwise known from Essex and Kent.

Life Style: The moth is single brooded flying during June and July. The larvae feed on Centaurea nigra in Britain. Following their first mine they feed from a mobile case on the underside of a leaf. They may be gregarious. The larvae hibernate and pupate away from the foodplant.

Identification: The imago can be identified on the patterning. A pale species with a dark brown longitudinal mark starting narrowly mid-wing at around one third and widening significantly as it reaches the apex. There is a similarly coloured narrow costal streak from the base to around one half. The dark streaks may be yellowish edged. The antennal scape is thickened and has a long tuft. There are two similar species that are also rare but differ in size, C.vibicella 17 – 22 mm wingspan, C. conspicuella 13 – 17.5mm and C. vibicigerella 10.5 – 14mm.
The larval case is slightly curved, shiny and black. The oral opening set at around 45 degrees. The case is tubular, becoming laterally flattened towards the bivalve anal opening. There is a variable ventral keel. The larvae are brown with the head and plates black. A full description can be found in Moths and Butterflies of Great Britain and Ireland. Identification of larvae must be supported by evidence of feeding on Centaurea nigra as there are a number of similar cased species in Britain. More Info

Retained Specimen / Photograph will be Required.

Case: A good quality photo or specimen of the case and plant/pabulum is required.

Recorded in 1 (2%) of 58 10k Squares.
First Recorded in 2019.
Last Recorded in 2020.

Latest 5 Records
Date#VC10k Area
27/04/2020326TL96 - Thurston/Elmswell
25/05/2019326TL96 - Thurston/Elmswell
Further info: Coleophora conspicuella
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