T.E.R:R.A.I.N - Taranaki Educational Resource: Research, Analysis and Information Network

Coleophora deauratella (Red clover casebearer moth)

Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Subphylum: Uniramia
Class: Insecta
Order: Lepidoptera
Family: Coleophoridae
Genus: Coleophora
Species: C. deauratella
Binomial name: Coleophora deauratella
Synonym: Damophila deauratella
Common names:: Red clover moth, red clover casebearer, Red-clover case-bearer.

Coleophora deauratella is a moth of the Coleophoridae family. It is an invasive pest of clover and is found in grassy habitats of most of Europe, USA, Canada, Australia and New Zealand. It was first discovered in Auckland in October 2016 and is now found right across New Zealand.

It has bronzy metallic forewings that are 7 to 8 mm long. The eyes are fringed with fuscous hairs. The adults fly in grassy habitats during the summer and they are attracted to light.
Adult female moths lay their eggs on developing clover flower heads. Once the eggs hatch the larvae tunnel into the clover’s florets. A floret is a small flower that makes up a composite flower head. Inside the floret it feeds on the growing seeds, destroying them. The larvae feeding damage can severely impact on crop yields.
The moth’s larvae have a head capsule and chewing mouthparts with opposable mandibles, and six thoracic and abdominal legs. When the larvae reach the fourth instar stage it adheres itself to a chewed off floret for camouflage and protection. This red-brown case is about 6 mm long. The moth’s pupae have visible head appendages, wings and legs which lie in sheaths. Over winter, the mature larvae shelter beneath the soil or in leaf litter and come spring, emerge from a pupa as adults.

Other host plants that have been reported are: Trifolium hybridum (Alsike clover)
Trifolium pratense (Purple clover) and Trifolium repens (White clover) 

Thanks to Wikipedia for text and information: https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0