Butterflies and Moths of Southern Vancouver Island--Jeremy B. Tatum


Coleophora elaeagnisella


The coleophorid moths are small moths of undistinguished appearance, which hold their banded antennae in front of them. On first acquaintance they may appear to be unexciting moths, but they do have unusually interesting caterpillars. The caterpillars live in small cases that they construct for themselves, some of which (like the present species) resemble pistol cases, some resemble cigar cases, while yet others have their own unique design. They do not move during daylight hours, but are surprisingly mobile at night. C. eleagnisella is one of the larger species, and, if you can find the uncommon shrub known as Soapberry Sheperdia canadensis, and the shrub appears to have many brown, shriveled leaves, you may be lucky to find the pistol cases of this moth. Pupation takes place inside the case, and the only indication that pupation has taken place is that the case does not move around during the night. The adult moths emerge after a few weeks, in August.

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