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Cigar casebearer

Coleophora serratella (L.)
Lepidoptera: Coleophoridae

Adult is dark gray with fringed wings. The small yellowish larva of the cigar casebearer has a black head and builds and hides in a cigar-shaped shelter (A, B, C) that it carries with it while feeding or attaches to leaves and branches of apple trees.


Most fruit-growing states and provinces in eastern North America.


Attacks apple mainly, also pear and quince. Cigar casebearer larvae eat the epidermis of leaves and their tender tissues, causing the leaves to turn brown.

Similar Species

The pistol casebearer is similar; however its case is curled at the end, resembling a pistol handle. Its larvae attack the expanding buds and later the flowers and foliage, which may be either eaten entirely or skeletonized, in the case of leaves.


This insect causes little damage, and tolerance is probably more economical than intervention. Economic infestations can be controlled by the use of selective (e.g., Bacillus thuringiensis) or broad-spectrum insecticides.

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