South American Palm Weevil from Guatemala

Subject:  What’s this bug ?
Geographic location of the bug:  Livingston, Guatemala
Date: 12/21/2018
Time: 03:39 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  Flew around the boat about 50 metres offshore…landed…left.
How you want your letter signed:  By Feather Quill (cause it’s classy)

South American Palm Weevil

Dear Classy Reader who writes with a Quill Pen,
This is a Weevil, a type of Beetle in the family Curculionidae, according to BugGuide:  “Arguably, the largest animal family with more than 50,000 species in ~4600 genera worldwide.”  Your individual is quite large for a Weevil, and we thought it would be easy to identify, however, the best we could do in a short amount of time is to find a matching image of an unidentified individual on the Highlights Along the Way blog.

South American Palm Weevil

We did additional research that included lightening a cropped version of one of your images that now reveals the details on the elytra, and we now believe this is a South American Palm Weevil, Rhynchophorus palmarum, a species that is also reported from Central America and is pictured on Insect Designs.  There is a UC Riverside pdf on this species that shows the horrific damage it can cause to palm trees.

Elytra of South American Palm Weevil

Thank you for your reply. In the meantime I found out what species it is. Someone from iNaturalist who is also from Serbia said that there is actually only one species in Serbia which is Pentodon idiota.

Hi again Mihajlo,
Thanks so much for providing this update.


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