Subject: Can anyone identify this beetle?
March 1, 2017 7:41 am
If you know the common name and species name of this beetle please let me know! Photo taken in the Tampa/Lutz area in Florida
Signature: Francis Pinciotti at Learning Gate Community School
This is a Diaprepes Root Weevil, Diaprepes abbreviatus, a species “Native to the Caribbean, adventive and established in so. US: so. & central FL (1964), so. TX (Cameron & Hidalgo Cos 2000, Corpus Christi 2005, Houston 2009; map), so. CA (2005), LA (2008); further north in greenhouses” according to BugGuide, which also notes “color highly variable (from gray to yellow to orange to black).” The Diaprepes Root Weevil is a significant agricultural pest, and according to BugGuide: “Major pest of citrus crops: larvae often girdle the taproot, which may kill the plant and provide an avenue for Phythophora infections. A single larva can kill young hosts while several larvae can cause serious decline of older, established hosts.” According to Featured Creatures: “Diaprepes abbreviatus has a wide host range, attacking about 270 different plants including citrus, sugarcane, vegetables, potatoes, strawberries, woody field-grown ornamentals, sweet potatoes, papaya, guava, mahogany, containerized ornamentals, and non-cultivated wild plants.” Since it is the first of the month, we will be featuring your submission as the Bug of the Month for March, 2017.
I greatly appreciate your response and am honored that this photo will be the feature of the month! We’ll be sending more photos to share from Learning Gate Community School.