Friday 17 April 2015

Micro Tip - Coleophora juncicolella

Micro-moth field tips: Coleophora juncicolella. This tiny Coleophora makes a beautifully detailed and well disguised case. With a case of only 4mm in length, the only real chance of seeing it is to beat or sweep some heather. This should dislodge lots of small pieces of heather. I found this one by beating the heather into an upturned umbrella at Lindow Moss, Wilmslow on 15.4.15. After a minute or two of careful observation, a piece of the heather started to walk about! Alternatively, put the contents of the sweeping or beating into a clear container and wait for the Coleophora larvae to walk up the side of the container.
Ben Smart.


  1. I've had success with this method on the moorlands of the Black Mountains (Monmouthshire/Breconshire) - it seems a widespread but overlooked species. There's always a chance of C. pyrrhulipennella too, with its much more striking shiny black larval case. But this seems to be a scarcer species and possibly restricted to lowland heathland.


  2. I'm hoping Ben's photography will inspire a few people to have a go themselves and not think micros are too hard.
    Although it can be a needle & haystack job sometimes the sight of Ben with his 'spotted umbrella' is enough to inspire anyone. ;-)


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