Coleophora gryphipennella (Hübner, 1796) (Lepidoptera, Coleophoridae) on Fragaria vesca L. (Rosaceae), a novel host, in the coastal dunes of The Netherlands

Image credit: J van Roosmalen


During regular surveys of Lepidoptera in the coastal dune North Holland Dune Reserve, we observed larval cases and feeding traces typical for Coleophoridae on wild strawberry (Fragaria vesca L., Rosaceae). The spatulate or pistol shape of the cases excluded Coleophora violacea (Ström, 1783) and C. potentillae Elisha, 1885. According to the literature, C. albicostella (Duponchel, 1842), very rare in The Netherlands, was the only Coleophora species known to create spatulate cases on this host. We collected larval cases for DNA analysis on the larvae and for rearing, which revealed that none of the collected larvae belong to the Coleophoridae previously recorded feeding on this host, but a mixture of three other Coleophora species. We found that early instar larvae of C. lutipennella (Zeller, 1838) and C. flavipennella (Duponchel, 1843), normally feeding on oaks (Quercus spp., Fagaceae) only, may be found feeding on F. vesca in the fall. We also found that C. gryphipennella (Hübner, 1796), abundant on Rose (Rosa spp., Rosaceae) in the coastal dunes of The Netherlands, regularly feeds on F. vesca and rearing experiments proved that it can complete its larval stage on F. vesca. We therefore conclude that Fragaria is a new host genus for C. gryphipennella. After reviewing all the C. albicostella records from The Netherlands, we conclude that it is a very rare species, likely restricted to the southernmost provinces. None of the confirmed records are from reared specimens. The host range of C. albicostella in literature is possibly overestimated and may not even include Fragaria.

Nota Lepidopterologica
Camiel Doorenweerd
Camiel Doorenweerd
Junior Researcher Insect Systematics and Conservation

My research interests include macro-evolution, speciation, plant-insect interactions, bioinformatics and entomology