Coleophora deauratella

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Coleophora deauratella (click on image to enlarge it)
Author(s): Ben Sale
Source: Wikimedia Commons

Coleophora deauratella Lienig & Zeller, 1846 - (red clover casebearer)

This casebearer moth is native to Europe and western Asia, but it is an introduced pest of red clover (Trifolium pratense) in North America, Australia and New Zealand. The eggs are laid on the inflorescences and the larvae feed on the developing seeds, consuming 2-3 seeds per day. In Canada, red clover grown for seed production can experience almost complete yield losses.

During the first three instars the larvae live inside the clover seed heads. The 4th instar larvae construct a case and are mobile. They overwinter in the case on the ground and pupate inside the case in early spring. The adult moth is around 8 mm long, with a wingspan of around 10-12 mm. The forewings have a bronzy metallic colouration.