What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Wood carved and glittered weevil
July 13, 2009
Hi bugman-
I recently went to Costa Rica for my honeymoon (6/21-6/28) and came back with tons of pictures…of insects. I thought I’d share these pictures of a weevil I saw one night climbing up a wall. We were on our way to dinner, camera in tow, when out of the corner of my eye I saw a glittering green, gingerly moving splotch. Upon closer inspection, I noticed that it was a beetle. This little dude looks like someone carved him out of wood and then had their child sprinkle a spring shade of glitter all over its back. He didn’t want to stay too still, but decided that he’d pose for a couple of shots…hope you like him.
insect fan
Costa Verde, Manuel Antonio, Costa Rica

Unknown Costa Rican Weevil: cosmetically enhanced or not???

Green Immigrant Leaf Weevil perhaps

Dear insect fan,
We are a bit stumped by your weevil, and we hope one of our readers will be able to assist in the identification.  It really does look like it has been embellished with glitter.  We do know that in certain places in Central America, insects are used as living jewelry.  Sometimes beautiful insects are just affixed to small chains and pinned to clothing.  Other times insects may be painted or bejeweled. This image does almost look to “glittery” to be natural.

Update
Unknown weevil Costa Rica
July 17, 2009
Hi WTB!!
I have a photo of a weevil as my screensaver that looks a lot like the glittery weevil you are having trouble identifying. I took the photo from one of your reader’s website. You can view more photos of the weevil there. Father Sanchez has it listed as Polydrusus and he is located in Puerto Rico. http://www.kingsnake.com/westindian/
Keep up the great work!
Andrea with the anatomically correct butterfly tattoos 🙂 Hollywood, CA
Puerto Rico

Hi Andrea,
How nice to hear from you again.  We have also had email exchanges with Father Sanchez.  We love his website.  We are linking to BugGuide’s page on the Green Immigrant Leaf Weevil, a European species that has naturalized in North America.  Though we are inclined to agree that this weevil and our Costa Rican Weevil look the same, we would really like to get an expert opinion on that.  Thanks so much for providing this information.

Update from Karl
August 6, 2009
Catching up on weevils (3 in 1 – sorry about that)
Hi Daniel:
The first part of this is just FYI – a great internet resource. I found a little time to go back and catch up on some wonderful weevils that caught my attention as they were posted.  One of my favorite resources for this sort of thing is the digitized version of the Biologia Centrali-Americana (58 volumes!). It is a little difficult to navigate through, but what an incredible storehouse of information! The volumes on insects were originally produced between 1879-1915, but they still stand up as an incredible body of work. The two Costa Rican weevils were identified from this site. Cheers.  K

Daniel:
The Green Immigrant Leaf Weevil (Polydrusus sericeus) is a relatively tiny (5-7 mm) weevil accidentally introduced from Europe. Although it has become wide spread in North America (I have seen quite a few this year on the Canadian prairies), I don’t know if it has made it as far south as Costa Rica. I think this gorgeous creature is actually in the genus Exophthalmus (a reference to those big, bugged-out eyes?), and the species is probably E. carneipes (Curculionidae: Entiminae).  At 9-12 mm it is roughly twice as large and could certainly catch someone’s attention climbing up a wall. I couldn’t find out much about the species, other than that it occurs in Costa Rica and Panama. A great find and a very nice photo from “insect fan”.  There is another very nice image of the same (unidentified) weevil here.
Regards.
Karl

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

2 Responses to Unknown Costa Rican Weevil may be Green Immigrant Leaf Weevil

  1. pixie_19 says:

    That other picture of my little Costa Rican weevil is spectacular. I wish we had seen him in better lighting… It’s interesting to see what this little guy might be! Thanks for all the answers 🙂

  2. Amanda says:

    I have a few other pictures of this guy that really show the sparkle and brilliance with some scale markers (fingers) in the picture. Where can I send them? Did you ever determine what the specimen actually is?

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