Costa Rican beetle
Mon, Feb 9, 2009 at 12:57 PM
We were in Costa Rica this January, and found this beetle on the floor of the patio one evening. I’d estimate it was 4 or 5 inches long. The people we were staying with hadn’t seen anything like it before. I’m curious what type of beetle it is, and if the orange “fuzz” on it is part of the beetle, or some sort of pollen or fungal infection.
Costa Rica (Central Pacific)

Weevil from Costa Rica

Weevil from Costa Rica

Hi Dawn,
We haven’t the time at the moment to identify the species, but this is a Weevil. We are relatively certain we have identified this species in the past and it is in our Weevil archives. The fuzz is a characteristic of the weevil, and is neither pollen nor fungus.

Thanks so much for your response! I did look through the archive before writing, but missed the “earlier posts” link. It is in there, and it looks like it’s a Bottlebrush Weevil ( Rhinostomus barbirostris) .

Thanks for doing our research Dawn. We were certain we had identified it once before.

You are quite right, this weevil has appeared on WTB before, in fact it has been posted at least twice (Jordan from Costa Rica – 12 March 2007; Lisa from Panama – 02 May 2006). It was previously identified as the ‘Bottlebrush Weevil’ (Rhinostomus barbirostris) and the Cuban Weevil (Rhina oblita). To clarify (or perhaps confuse) Rhinostomus barbirostris was formerly Rhina barbirostris, and Rhina oblita has been changed to Rhinostomus oblitus. They both look quite similar but their distributions are different. The reported distribution for R. oblitus is Cuba, Hispaniola, the Bahamas and perhaps Mexico and Brazil. R. barbirostris occurs in southern Mexico, Central America and most of South America. Based on that, I suggest it is probably R. barbirostris, the Bottlebrush Weevil. Both species feed on a variety of palms but are not considered a pest because they tend to target old or otherwise stressed trees. Regards.

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