Subject:  Red bug Santa Elena
Geographic location of the bug:  Santa Elena Reserve, Costa Rica
Date: 01/11/2018
Time: 06:57 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  Been trying to identify this bug I’ve found, but can’t seem to find the right species. I came across this beauty while hiking in the Monteverde Cloud Forest. Could you help me out?
How you want your letter signed:  Nick

Palmetto Weevil

Dear Nick,
This sure looks to us like the highly variable Palmetto Weevil or Red Palm Weevil,
Rhynchophorus cruentatus, based on this image posted to BugGuide.  According to Revolvy:  “The adult beetles are relatively large, ranging between two and four centimeters long, and are usually a rusty red colour—but many colour variants exist and have often been classified as different species” and “Weevil larvae can excavate holes in the trunk of a palm trees up to a metre long, thereby weakening and eventually killing the host plant. As a result, the weevil is considered a major pest in palm plantations, including the coconut palm, date palm and oil palm.”

Thank you so much for identifying the bug! Also, Palmetto Weevil is a more than lovely name.
I’ll add this to my list of animals I’ve found on my trip.
Thanks again,
Location: Santa Elena Reserve, Costa Rica

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