Distribution map Copyright Martin Evans
 Life stages table Copyright Martin Evans  Life stages table Copyright Martin Evans


37.086 Pale Orache Case-bearer Coleophora versurella Zeller, 1849


Similar species:

Forewing: 5 to 7mm

Habitats: Wasteground, salt-marsh, verges and arable fields.

Habits: The moth comes to light.

Foodplant: The larva initially feeds internally on the unripe seeds of goosefoots, Grass-leaved Orache and Sea-purslane. After emerging from the seed it builds a composite case from silk, frass and vegetable matter. It adds to the forward part of the case as needed. It enlarges the width of its case by cutting longitudinal slits and incorporating silk. The full formed case is dark grey-brown, stumpy cigar-shaped and covered in chewed vegetable debris and frass except for the expansion gussets. It is trivalved and 5 to 6mm long, m.o. at a 15° to 50° angle. It is full fed by the end of October when it overwinters before pupation in May. In captivity the larva forms a cocoon of silk and seeds at the bottom of its container and overwinters gregariously within that. This has been repeated over several years.