Weevils: All You Need to Know: A Comprehensive Guide for the Curious

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Weevils are fascinating pests that can wreak havoc in gardens and stored grains. Known as snout beetles, these tiny creatures belong to the family Curculionidae and have elongated heads with specialized mouthparts.

With over 1,000 species found in California alone, it’s interesting to learn about their behaviors and impacts on plants and stored food products.

As a gardener or homeowner, you may encounter weevils feeding on different plants or hiding in your pantry. Some common species, like the black vine weevil, can be found causing damage to garden plants, while others like the rice weevil prefer to infest stored grains.

Understanding their life cycle, feeding habits, and suitable control methods can help protect your plants and stored food from these tenacious little beetles.

Throughout this article, we will delve into the world of weevils, providing detailed information on their characteristics, the damage they cause, and effective control measures. By the end of this pillar post, you’ll have all the knowledge you need to identify, prevent, and manage weevil infestations in your home or garden.

What is a Weevil?

A weevil is a type of small beetle that belongs to the Curculionoidea superfamily. These insects are known for their distinctive snout-like noses, making them easily recognizable. Weevils can be found in various environments ranging from agricultural fields to homes. There are more than 60,000 species of weevils worldwide, each with unique characteristics.

These little beetles can cause significant damage to crops and stored food products, leading to considerable losses in agriculture and storage industries. For example, the rice weevil can infest grains such as rice and wheat, while the pepper weevil damages pepper plants.

To protect your crops or stored food products against weevils, using insecticides may be an option. However, always remember to follow proper application guidelines when using chemicals to avoid harming beneficial insects or polluting the environment.

Here are some key characteristics of weevils to keep in mind:

  • Small size, ranging from 1/8 inch (3mm) to 1/2 inch (12.7mm) long
  • Snout-like nose, or rostrum
  • Mostly herbivorous, feeding on plants or grains
  • Possess strong jaws for chewing through seeds, and some even lay their eggs inside plant tissue
  • Diverse family, with different weevils causing damage to specific crops or plants

By being aware of the weevils’ features and understanding their behavior, you can take appropriate measures to prevent their infestation and protect your crops, plants, or stored food products. Remember always to stay vigilant and take action if you notice any signs of these pesky beetles.

Weevils Lifecycle and Behavior

Lifecycle of a Weevil

Weevils, also known as snout beetles, are small insects that belong to the Curculionidae family. They have a unique and interesting lifecycle, which can be easily understood if we divide it into four primary stages: egg, larva, pupa, and adult.

  • Egg: Adult females weevils generally lay around 500 or more eggs near or beneath the host plant. Eggs hatch within a few days or weeks, depending on the species and environmental conditions.
  • Larva: After hatching, the legless, grub-like larvae feed on plant parts or within the soil. Throughout this stage, the larvae grow in size and eventually become ready to transform into a pupa.
  • Pupa: The pupa stage is when weevils undergo the transformation from larvae to adults. They typically form a protective cocoon in soil or plant debris and stay in this stage for one to several weeks.
  • Adult: Once the pupa stage is completed, adult weevils emerge and start searching for food. They have six legs, and their size can vary depending on their species. Adult weevils generally feed on a wide range of plant material, depending on their habitat.

Weevil Behavior

Weevils exhibit some remarkable behaviors in their search for food and shelter. In favorable conditions, they can reproduce quite rapidly. All adult weevils are females and can produce without mating. They usually lay eggs in hidden places like inside plant parts or soil.

Adult weevils are attracted to warm and dark places. During unfavorable weather conditions such as heat and dryness, they might seek shelter inside buildings by crawling through cracks or openings. This is why they may occasionally be found inside homes.

In conclusion, understanding the lifecycle and behavior of weevils can help in their management and control, particularly if they become a pest in gardens or agricultural fields. It is important to be aware of the signs of their presence and to take appropriate action to keep their population levels in check.

Types of Weevils

Common Weevil Species

Weevils are a diverse group of beetles, with over 60,000 known species. Some of the most common weevil species include:

  • Rice Weevil (Sitophilus oryzae): A major pest of stored grains, this weevil is small (around 1/8 inch long) and has a distinct snout and reddish-brown color with four faint marks on its wing covers1. They can fly and are attracted to light2.
  • Granary Weevil (Sitophilus granarius): Slightly larger than rice weevils, granary weevils measure about 3/16 inch in length and have a black-brown or red-brown color3. They cannot fly4 and are commonly found in grain storage areas.
  • Maize Weevil (Sitophilus zeamais): As the name suggests, maize weevils primarily infest corn. They are similar in appearance to rice weevils and are also capable of flight.
  • Root Weevils: There are various species of root weevils that attack the roots of plants. The black vine weevil and strawberry root weevil are among the most common. They have a small size and elongated snouts and are often found in ornamental plants and strawberries5.
  • Boll Weevil: This weevil species is a notorious pest of cotton, causing significant economic loss to cotton farmers.
  • Flour Weevil and Wheat Weevil: These weevils are found in stored grain products, like flour and wheat, and can cause significant damage.

Identifying Weevils

To identify weevils, you should pay attention to their appearance:

  • Color: Weevils come in various colors, ranging from reddish-brown to black or even metallic.
  • Size: Weevils are generally small, with most measuring between 1/8 to 3/16 inches in length.
  • Snout: A distinct characteristic of weevils is their elongated snout, which can be used to help distinguish them from other beetles.
  • Markings: Some weevils, like the rice weevil, have specific markings on their wings that can be useful in identification.
  • Wings: Not all weevils can fly; for example, the granary weevil cannot fly, while the rice and maize weevils can6.

Here’s a quick comparison table for you:

Weevil Species Color Size Flight Capable Pest of
Rice Weevil Reddish-brown 1/8 inch Yes Stored grains
Granary Weevil Black-brown 3/16 inch No Stored grains
Maize Weevil Reddish-brown 1/8 inch Yes Corn
Black Vine Weevil Black Small No Ornamental plants, strawberries
Boll Weevil Brownish-gray 1/4 inch Yes Cotton

In summary, the most important features in identifying weevils are their color, size, snout, markings, and wings. By looking for these characteristics, you’ll be able to spot common weevil species and take appropriate action.

Weevils and Agriculture

Weevils and Stored Grains

Weevils are a type of pest that can be extremely destructive to various crops, including cereal grains, whole grains, cotton, and even beans. Some common types of weevils that affect agriculture are the rice weevil, granary weevil, and maize weevil.

These pests can cause significant damage to grains like rice, wheat, corn, cereals, and oats, either in storage or the field. For instance, the rice weevil is notorious for its ability to fly, making it an insidious pest to deal with. On the other hand, the granary weevil cannot fly and is more likely to be found where the grain is stored, moving with infested grain products1.

Here are some key characteristics of weevils as crop pests:

  • Small size (about 1/8 inch or 3 mm in length)
  • Can be found in various colors, such as black-brown or red-brown
  • Develop as larvae within the grain kernels

The following table compares the three common weevils affecting agriculture:

Weevil Type Flight Capability Commonly Infested Crops
Rice Weevil Yes Rice, wheat, and corn
Granary Weevil No Whole grains and cereals
Maize Weevil Yes Corn

To protect your crops and stored grains from weevils, it’s crucial to be proactive in pest management. Some strategies include storing the grains in a dry and well-ventilated area, regularly cleaning storage spaces, and using pest control products when necessary.

Remember, keeping a close eye on your grains and implementing preventive measures can help minimize the impact of weevils on your agriculture and production.

Home Infestations

Sighting Weevils in the Home

Weevil infestations can be quite concerning, but luckily they are harmless and not harmful to humans. It’s common to spot them inside your home, especially during hot and dry weather conditions. Typically, these small beetles with noticeable snouts make their way into your home through openings like doors, windows, cracks, or the foundation.

When it comes to sightings, look out for their lightbulb- or pear-shaped body. You might encounter adult weevils seeking shelter in unfavorable weather conditions. If you’ve noticed weevils around your home, it’s essential to take action to prevent further infestation. Here are some quick tips:

  • Seal any cracks, gaps, or openings around doors and windows that could allow weevils to enter your home.
  • Regularly check your home’s foundation for any possible entry points.

During an infestation, it’s crucial to address the issue promptly. Although weevils are not harmful to humans, they can cause damage to plants and food sources. Remember that a friendly attitude and vigilance will go a long way in helping you tackle weevil infestations in your home.

Preventing and Managing Weevil Infestations

Preventing Weevil Infestations

To prevent weevil infestations in your pantry, store dry goods like nuts, seeds, and grains in airtight containers. This will keep out small beetles like granary weevils, members of the Curculionidae and Bruchidae families. You should also maintain a clean pantry, vacuuming regularly to remove any crumbs or food debris. Additionally, inspect your stored food products for any signs of infestation before bringing them into your home.

Examples of airtight containers:

  • Plastic containers with locking lids
  • Glass jars with rubber seals
  • Metal canisters with tight-fitting lids

Foods to store in airtight containers:

  • Flour
  • Cereals
  • Rice
  • Pasta
  • Dried fruits
  • Nuts and seeds

Managing Weevil Infestations

If you discover weevils in your pantry, immediately remove all affected foods. You can tell if they are infested by small beetle presence, larvae, or holes in the packaging. Dispose of the infested items in a sealed plastic bag and put it in an outdoor trash can. Vacuum your pantry thoroughly, reaching into all corners and shelves. Afterward, wash the shelves with soapy water and let them dry completely before returning any items to the space.

Insecticides are typically not recommended for treating pantry pests like weevils. Instead, consider using non-chemical methods such as freezing infested food for a couple of days to kill the weevils. This can work well for items like flour, rice, and grains. Replace the affected items with fresh, properly stored foods in airtight containers, so the pests do not return.

Pros and cons of freezing infested foods:

Pros Cons
Non-chemical method May not be suitable for all foods
Kills both adult weevils and larvae Takes time (at least 48 hours)
Prevents future infestations Requires freezer space

Remember, the key to preventing and managing weevil infestations is to keep a clean pantry and use proper storage methods for your dry goods. Stay vigilant and act quickly if you notice any signs of infestation.

Bug Control Recommendation Tool

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Footnotes

  1. https://extension.umd.edu/resource/rice-and-granary-weevils 2
  2. https://extension.umd.edu/resource/rice-and-granary-weevils
  3. https://extension.psu.edu/weevils-on-stored-grain
  4. https://extension.entm.purdue.edu/publications/E-237/E-237.html
  5. https://extension.umd.edu/resource/weevils-trees-and-shrubs
  6. https://extension.psu.edu/weevils-on-stored-grain

Reader Emails

Over the years, our website, whatsthatbug.com has received hundreds of letters and some interesting images asking us about these insects. Scroll down to have a look at some of them.

Letter 1 – Giant Palm Weevil, probably Red Palm Weevil

orange and black beetle
Location: Sicily Italy
December 1, 2010 10:01 am
My boys found this beetle on the wall next to out house. We haven’t been able to find anything like on the web and we were just wondering what it was. Thanks for you time.
Signature: Willow

Red Palm Weevil

Dear Willow,
This is a Giant Palm Weevil in the genus
Rhynchophorus.  According to BugGuide a native North American species, Rhynchophorus cruentatus which is called the Palmetto Weevil, can be more than an inch in length and it is the “ largest weevil north of Mexico.”  BugGuide also indicates “Larvae feed in the crown of the palm. If infestation is severe, the the integrity of the crown is compromised and the top of the palm falls over” and “Larvae of palm weevils are considered ‘culinary delights.'” We located a Florida State Pest Alert pdf that states:  “Of particular concern is R. ferrugineus, known as the red palm weevil. It is a pest of coconut and other palms in its native range. Over the past three decades, its range has expanded into the Middle East, North Africa and Mediterranean Europe. It attacks many palm species, but is especially devastating on date palms. The Best of Sicily Magazine has an online posting entitled Evil Weevils attack Sicily!  Red Palm Weevils in Sicily.  Here is the body of that article:
“Can a bug change a landscape? It can if it destroys a plant species. The red palm weevil (the photo shown here was taken in Palermo by a member of our staff) is an Asian beetle which arrived in Sicily via Egypt two years ago – probably in a shipment of infected plants – and is devouring the island’s date palms by boring large networks of tiny tunnels into the trunks. Rhynchophorus ferrugineus, which Italians call the punteruolo rosso, had already caused the destruction of over thirteen thousand date palms in Sicily by August 2009, and there’s no end to the massacre in sight. The bug has invaded mainland Italy, killing trees as far north as Genoa, and has recently landed in Spain. The global impact of its migration is serious; it has even been discovered in the Caribbean.
The challenge posed by such “invading species” is that once they move beyond their native habitats they leave behind the natural predators which keep their populations down back home. In a new environment they can literally eat whatever they please until they have destroyed their new food source and, in the case of date and coconut palms, an edible human food as well. One unwelcome species that comes to mind, referred to in the press as “Fishzilla,” is the toothy, hungry south-east Asian snakehead fish (channa argus) that in American waters consumes all kinds of edible fish, altering the native populations of entire lakes and rivers and occasionally biting swimmers.
How extensive will the beetle damage be? For the moment, there seems to be no effective pesticide available to combat these pests. Certain palm tree varieties, though a small minority of those cultivated in Sicily, are immune to the weevils. Prominent among these is the American palm of the genus Washingtonia popular in Mexico and California (washingtonia filifera and washingtonia robusta). Introduced into Sicily about a century ago, it has a very high, slender trunk and fan-like branches clumped around a nucleus. It grows much taller and faster than the traditional date palm and has a completely different profile, but this may be the price to pay for the loss of the thick-trunked date palms.
As a safety measure, roadside trees are being cut down to forestall possible collapses onto cars or people due to trunk damage from the bugs.
Though date palms were grown in southern Italy for brief periods during the ancient Roman era, their most extensive cultivation, on large plantations, took place in Sicily during the Arab period. By around 1300 they were considered an ornamental tree, so the fruit was not harvested and dates are found in very few traditional Sicilian recipes. Despite the presence of dates falling to the ground beneath the trees in public gardens, most Sicilians are unaware that the trees so evident here are, in fact, date palms. Most of the dates sold in Sicily are imported from northern Africa, especially Tunisia. That may change as Tunisia’s date palms are destroyed by the hungry weevils.
It isn’t altogether inappropriate to ascribe human virtues and vices to certain insects. The mantis, cricket and ladybug are all considred virtuous. The red palm weevil is just plain evil!
About the Author: Vincenzo Mormino has written about wildlife and nature for Best of Sicily and hard-copy publications.”

Letter 2 – Green Immigrant Leaf Weevil

Subject: What kind of bug is this?
Location: Northern Maine
July 15, 2016 2:45 pm
We have many of these small green bugs around our house and we are wondering what they are?
Signature: Elizabeth Collins

Green Immigrant Leaf Weevil
Green Immigrant Leaf Weevil

Dear Elizabeth,
This is a Green Immigrant Leaf Weevil,
Polydrusus formosus, a species introduced from Europe.  According to BugGuide, it feeds on “primarily Yellow Birch (Betula alleghaniensis).”

Letter 3 – Elephant Weevil from Australia

unusual looking snout nosed insect
April 11, 2010
Hi Bugman
We hope you can identify this strange looking insect that we found in our back garden today.
I must admit, when I first saw it it was curled up and lying on its side in one of our bird feeding dishes, and as it’s six legs were all curled up with the body I initially thought it was very small yound bird that had died. However, when it went to move it I saw the legs move, and eventually the insect righted itself and stood up as per the attached photos (apologies as the second photo is a little bit blurred). Length is approx 1.4-2cm long.
A short while later it had climbed from the dish into the tree branch above, where it is now well camouflaged against the wood.
Cheers
Royston & Tania
Adelaide, South Australia

Elephant Weevil

Hi Royston and Tania,
This amazing creature is known as an Elephant Weevil, Orthorhinus cylindrirostris.  You may find additional information on the OzAnimals website which indicates:  “The Elephant Weevil is pest to the wine industry as it feds on grape vines.

Letter 4 – Invasive Red Palm Weevil from Portugal

Identifying mysterious large beetle from the coast of Algarve, Portugal.
Location: Algarve, South coast of Portugal,
March 12, 2012 11:14 am
Hi!
I’ve been searching the web for hours and hours to try and identify this beetle, I’ve tried multiple ”identification helpers” to try and narrow it down to a family, but no luck. I took this picture while on vacation on the south coast of Portugal. I found it walking on the street by the docks, so maybe it helps that it lives near salt water? and it was a really hot outside, I don’t know it that matters either. The beetle has six legs, wings (it flew away), and a long horn-like shape in the front with two antennae’s attached. It was maybe 5-6 centimeters long, about the size of an average middle finger. I really hope you can figure this out, I think the pictures should be detailed enough 🙂
Signature: Greetings from Norway

Red Palm Weevil

The elongated snout identifies this beetle as one of the Weevils, and more specifically, it is a Red Palm Weevil, Rhynchophorus ferrugineus.  According to http://www.aambiental.org/PalmWeevil/ it is known as “Gorgulho Vermelho”.  The Red Palm Weevil is an invasive exotic species that was introduced to Portugal in recent years and it has become a serious threat to the date palms that have been planted.

Letter 5 – Red Palm Weevil bites tourist in Paphos, Cyprus!!!

What is this bug?
February 25, 2010
My dad was bitten by this bug while on holiday in Paphos, any idea what kind of beetle it is?
Any
Paphos

Red Palm Weevil

Dear Any,
This is a Red Palm Weevil, Rhynchophorus ferrugineus.  According to M. Ferry and S. Gómez who wrote the paper “The Red Palm Weevil in the Mediterranean Area” which is posted online on the Palm’s Journal, “The red palm weevil, Rhynchophorus ferrugineus Olivier, has become the most important pest of the date palm in the world.”  We were not aware that Red Palm Weevils would bite humans, and we believe this was an anomoly.  We suspect David Gracer might be writing that the grubs are edible.

Letter 6 – Green Immigrant Leaf Weevil

Subject: Beautiful Aqua Teeny Guy!
Location: Gladwin, Michigan
July 6, 2016 5:36 pm
This intriguing little thing found its way onto my hand while visiting family in Michigan this 4th of July weekend. Very small, very active. The only aqua colored insects I could find online were weevils and this guy didn’t have a weevil face. I tried to get a closer shot but this was as clear as I could get. It was a sunny day, approx 79-82 degrees with low humidity near Lake Lancer in Gladwin, MI (mid-Michigan, lower peninsula). Thank you for your beautiful website ?
Signature: Bugs are beautiful

Green Immigrant Leaf Weevil
Green Immigrant Leaf Weevil

Your insect is in fact a Weevil, which is a classification of Beetles.  It is a Green Immigrant Leaf Weevil, Polydrusus formosus, which is represented on BugGuide.   According to BugGuide:  “introduced from Europe, where it is widespread.”

Green Immigrant Leaf Weevil
Green Immigrant Leaf Weevil

Thank you so much!  What a pretty little thing.  I hate that it’s an invasive introduced species.  Your website is just wonderful, thank you for your love for the little guys!

Letter 7 – Diaprepes Root Weevil

Beetle?

Hey Bugman!

I live in Altamonte Springs, Florida. My four year old son and I found this bug on our balcony. I’ve never seen one like this before and I’ve lived in Florida my whole life(27 years).

Alien Invader
Alien Invader

Your beetle is actually a Broad Nosed Weevil, Diaprepes abbreviatus, commonly called the Diaprepes Root Weevil. According to BugGuide: it is “Native to the Carribean but introduced into South and Central FL where it has become a serious pest especially of citrus and woody ornamentals.” BugGuide also indicates: “The California Dept. of Food & Agriculture has issued a flyer containing the following information: ‘The weevil was accidentally introduced into Florida in the 1960s and caused extensive damage. It has been intercepted in shipments of plants to California.’ Said to feed on some 270 different plants, it’s described as ‘a significant threat to both urban and agricultural trees and plants.’ If you see or catch one in California, call the California Dept of Food & Agriculture at 1-800-491-1899 ”

Letter 8 – Invasive Weevil: Eurhinus magnificus

Subject: bug
Location: southeast florida
August 27, 2013 12:27 pm
what is this long nose beetle
Signature: rick nickels

Invasive Weevil: Eurhinus magnificus
Invasive Weevil: Eurhinus magnificus

Hi Rick,
We wish your photos were higher quality.  This appears to be an Invasive Weevil,
Eurhinus magnificus, which is a species introduced to Florida from Central America, or then again, it might be a natural range expansion due to global warming.  We first reported on Eurhinus magnificus in 2005 and we had considerable trouble doing the research, but since then, BugGuide has gotten submissions and now reports:  “native to Mesoamerica (Mexico to Panama); recently introduced into the US: found in the US in 2002 in Broward Co., FL; now established in so. FL (Miami-Dade and Broward counties).”

Invasive Weevil: Eurhinus magnificus
Invasive Weevil: Eurhinus magnificus

Letter 9 – Diaprepes Root Weevil

Subject: Biking Bug
Location: Tallahassee, FL
October 20, 2014 1:12 pm
Dear Bugman,
I found this bug sitting on my bike, right beside the back wheel. I had turned the bike over a few times to secure the chain on the wheel, without seeing this little guy fall off. I even tried to slightly move him over with a leaf, but this guy would NOT budge!
I continued to ride, downhill, and uphill until I reached my destination. When I locked up the bike, he (or she) had moved, but was still attached to my bicycle.
This bug had black and yellow patterns. It looks like a beetle, but I’m not entirely sure. It has a “bigger” antenna, as well as legs and feet that tend to stick and hold on to wherever they are.
Signature: Biking with a Bug

Diaprepes Root Weevil
Diaprepes Root Weevil

Dear Biking with a Bug,
This looks like a Diaprepes Root Weevil, and according to Featured Creatures: “It was first reported in Florida in 1964 from a nursery near Apopka. It was presumably introduced in an ornamental plant shipment from Puerto Rico. Since 1964, Diaprepes abbreviatus has spread over a large area of central and southern Florida where it is damaging to citrus, ornamental plants, and some other crops.”

Letter 10 – Agave Billbug

ID please
What’s the name of this bug? Thanks for any info on it.. Regards,
Raul Roa
Staff Photographer, SGVN
W. Covina, CA.
LAT:33.99641 N – LON:118.05906 W – 365 ft. elevation

Hi Raul,
This is an Agave Billbug, Scyphophorus acupunctatus, a species of Weevil that feeds on Agave and Dracaena. It is also known as the Sisal Weevil and Agave Weevil. It is native to warm arid regions of the Americas where those plants are native, including Mexico, but the species has been introduced to many other parts of the world on ornamental plants. Crop losses in Mexico might result in soaring costs of Tequila, a product of blue Agave.

Letter 11 – Male Oak Timberworm

Subject: Found in Southern NJ
Location: Moorestown NJ
June 5, 2014 8:57 am
Hello,
I found this bug last night in my house. I cannot seem to find it anywhere to identify it. I live in South Jersey, close to Philadelphia. The bug was about 3/8″ to half inch long.
Any help in figuring out what this is would be great. Thanks!
Signature: Megan

Male Oak Timberworm
Male Oak Timberworm

Dear Megan,
We have been obsessed with trying to identify your beetle, and we started researching it yesterday.  The mandibles are quite unusual, so we suppose it is understandable that we did not think this could be a Weevil or Snout Beetle.  We eventually located a matching image on BugGuide of a male Oak Timberworm,
Arrhenodes minutus, and upon viewing the information page on BugGuide, we learned the species is sexually dimorphic, and the female has a more typical snout.  We also learned:  “males are territorial and guard egg-laying females.”

Letter 12 – Male Oak Timberworm

Subject: What bug is this?
Location: New Jersey
June 29, 2014 8:48 pm
I saw this one crawling on the kitchen counter above my dishwasher just the other night June 26 in northern New Jersey. I haven’t been able to figure out what kind of insect this is.
Signature: Cat

Male Oak Timberworm
Male Oak Timberworm

Dear Cat,
Earlier this month, we spent a great deal of time trying to identify a male Oak Timberworm which we were relatively certain was a Weevil though it is lacking the snout normally associated with Weevils.  The earlier posting, also from New Jersey, had an image not nearly as sharp as the one you have provided.  According to BugGuide:  “Females lay eggs in living trees where sapwood exposed by injury; larvae bore into wood beneath.”

Oh thank you so much!  I was super curious.

Letter 13 – Mating Ironweed Curculio

Subject: Red Beetle
Location: Clarkston, WA, Northwest
June 10, 2013 8:10 pm
We found some ladybug-like beetles on our sunflowers this evening, and we wanted to know what species they were. I caught three of them in our bug catcher.
Signature: Cay Cay

Mating Ironweed Curculio
Mating Ironweed Curculio

Dear Cay Cay,
We quickly found what we believe is an Ironweed Curculio, Rhodobaenus tredecimpunctatus, a species of Weevil identified on BugGuide, though the BugGuide Data maps do not include the Pacific Northwest.  The food plant is indicated as:  “Breeds in Asteraceae such as cocklebur (Xanthium), ironweed (Vernonia), joe-pye-weed (Eupatorium), ragweed (Ambrosia).”  Sunflower is in the family Asteraceae.

Thank you so much!
We appreciate your expertise!
Have a GREAT DAY!

Letter 14 – Mating Ironweed Curculios

Subject: beetle id
Location: Eldersburg, MD 21784
June 26, 2017 12:23 pm
Distinctive orange beetle(?) with diamond marking. Google brings up lots of orange beetles but not this one.
Signature: Mary

Mating Ironweed Curculios

Dear Mary,
These mating Weevils are Ironweed Curculios.  According to BugGuide:  “Breeds in Asteraceae such as cocklebur (
Xanthium), ironweed (Vernonia), joe-pye-weed (Eupatorium), ragweed (Ambrosia).”

Letter 15 – Oak Timberworm

Subject: Never seen this before
Location: Southern Maryland
July 3, 2017 6:07 pm
Found him crawling up my wall near the front door
Signature: Michael

Oak Timberworm

Dear Michael,
We identified your Weevil as an Oak Timberworm,
Arrenodes minutus, thanks to Arthur Evans great book The Beetles of Eastern North America, and then we found a matching image on BugGuide.  We learned on BugGuide that the Oak Timberworm is:  “Sexually dimorphic: snout is broad in males, long & narrow in females” which means your individual is a male.

Letter 16 – Elephant Weevil from Australia

Australian Weevil ID
Hi Bugman,
Just perusing your site when I came across this entry. I live
on the East Coast of Australia and found the same weevil here.
Didn’t know what it was so I sent an email to the Australian
Museum and was advised that it is Orthorhinus cylindrirostris,
or Elephant Weevil I’ve attached a copy of the one I photographed
(P.S. I realise the entry I mentioned is rather old, but perhaps
this may be a useful ID for future enquiries) Cheers
Peter Hutchins
NSW.
Australia

Hi Peter,
Thank you both for the identificaton of the three year old
mystery as well as your wonderful portrait of an Elephant
Weevil
. Your photo dramatizes the appropriateness of the common name.

Letter 17 – Elephant Weevil from Australia

Whats this bug??
Location: Nedlands, Perth, Western Australia
February 15, 2011 9:46 am
Hi there,
Just wondering what this type of bug is, I have never seen something like this before.
Signature: anyway

Elephant Weevil

Dear anyway,
This is an Elephant Weevil,
Orthorhinus cylindrirostris, which you may verify on the Oz Animals website which states:  “The Elephant Weevil is pest to the wine industry as it feds on grape vines. It is a brown grey weevil with a long slender snout and long forelegs. The body has thick black or brown scales. The antennae are clubbed and form an L shape with a distinct elbow. Males antennae are located much closer to the point of the snout than females. Males also have longer forelegs than females.

Letter 18 – Elephant Weevil from Australia

Cute bug
Location: Airlie beach, witsundays, QLD Australia
February 13, 2011 7:48 pm
Hello!
I found this one one night next to my tv and o took it out and the next day he was back, sitting in the selling. then gone and next thing he was crwaling on the edge og this glas!
He walks and moves very slow and cant fly.
And he looks lika a small animal not really like a bug!
Signature: Christina

Elephant Weevil

Hi Christina,
This is the second image of an Elephant Weevil,
Orthorhinus cylindrirostris, that we have posted this week.  You can search our archives for information on this interesting looking beetle, or you can visit Oz Animals.

Letter 19 – Elephant Weevil from Australia

Subject:  Curious
Geographic location of the bug:  Australia in a Home wardrobe
Date: 12/06/2017
Time: 06:23 AM EDT
Just curious (:
How you want your letter signed:  However

Elephant Weevil

We used Oz Animals to verify the identity of your Elephant Weevil.  The site states:  “The Elephant Weevil is pest to the wine industry as it feds on grape vines.”

Letter 20 – Green Immigrant Leaf Weevil

Iridescent Green Weevil-Like Insect
May 11, 2010
Greetings,
One morning, I found this little guy sitting on the back of a hooded sweatshirt in my house. It’s around 3/16″ long. I thought it was some kind of weevil having a spherical head. I brought it outside in so I could photograph it. Even with it being rather cold, it still walked around making it rather difficult to get a good shot. I released it after a few glamour-shots.
The following evening I came home from work and put the same hoodie back on. After some brief yardwork I came back inside and saw something on my hand: It was what appeared to be the same insect from the day before!
Looking at the photos, the mandibles don’t look very weevil-like (to this neophyte).
Thank you!
TK
Cleveland, Ohio

Green Immigrant Leaf Weevil

Dear TK,
The Green Immigrant Leaf Weevil, Polydrusus sericeus, was “introduced from Europe, where it is widespread
” according to BugGuide.

Letter 21 – Golden Headed Weevil

Sparkly Green, White, and Orange ….. Weevil?
July 11, 2010
I was vacuuming upstairs and saw a piece of “paper” on the ground and went to pick it up and it turned out to be some weird pale sparkly green and orange bug thats about 1.5 cm long…. think its a weevil, but really have no idea
Adah
Sacramento, CA

Probably Golden Headed Weevil

Dear Adah,
This sure looks to us like a Green Immigrant Leaf Weevil,
Polydrusus sericeus, an invasive species that BugGuide describes as being found in : “northeastern United States and from New Brunswick to Ontario  introduced from Europe, where it is widespread.”  BugGuide reports no sighting from California.  You may want to inform your local department of Agriculture office.

Thank you for responding so promptly
But as i was looking at pictures of immigrant weevils online i noticed that their shell is spriped with strait lines and this one has alternating green and white lines and an orange head with green legs. I was wondering if that type of weevil could look so much different.  Also my mom just recieved some flowers from a florist in Hawaii…. so I’m not sure if that has any relation, but I wasn’t sure. thanks for your time
adah

Perhaps one of our readers will provide information confirming this Weevils identity.

Ed. Note: Karl sent in a comment with a theory that this might be a Golden Headed Weevil, Compsus auricephalus, which is profiled on BugGuide where it is listed as a “pest of citrus.”

Letter 22 – Mating Immigrant Leaf Weevils

Mating Immigrant Leaf Weevils
Location: Hornepayne, Ontario, Canada
June 25, 2011 2:49 pm
Hey,
I thought I’d send you a couple of pictures of mating immigrant leaf weevils. I found them walking along my clothesline today. They were super active, it was hard to get a good picture. As you can see, there is some sexual dimorphism, as well as a slight colour difference between the two. In the second picture, the weevils walked onto my camera lens, and though the picture is fuzzy, you can still see how the male grips the female with his feet.
Signature: HQ

Mating Immigrant Leaf Weevils

Hi HQ,
We are thrilled to be able to post you images of this invasive exotic species perpetuating in its new land.  The BugGuide information page on the Green Immigrant Leaf Weevil is quite informative.

Mating Immigrant Leaf Weevil

Letter 23 – Green Immigrant Leaf Weevil

Subject: Green Immigrant Leaf Weevil
Location: Naperville, IL
May 19, 2012 5:51 pm
Hi Daniel~
I found this critter on ME last night, and I kept him overnight for observation and identification until I could get a good photo of him in the daylight. I do believe (from his eyes!) he is a green immigrant leaf weevil, a relative newcomer to these parts, Polydrusus sericeus.
All the best to you!
Signature: -Dori Eldridge

Green Immigrant Leaf Weevil

Hi Dori,
We concur with your identification of this Green Immigrant Leaf Weevil,
Polydrusus sericeus.  According to BugGuide, it is:  “completely covered with metallic green scales except for brownish or yellowish-brown legs and conspicuous black linear grooves in elytra; eyes relatively large, positioned dorsolaterally, and angled slightly inward (i.e. anterior margin or eye is closer to the midline than posterior margin); least interocular distance less than or equal to width of eye; elytra almost parallel-sided, widest near the base; anterior margin of snout straight, with no notch in middle” and it feeds on “primarily Yellow Birch (Betula alleghaniensis).”  It was:  “introduced from Europe, where it is widespread.”

Letter 24 – Green Immigrant Leaf Weevil

Subject: What’s this bug?
Location: Canada Ontario
January 9, 2014 8:01 pm
Ever since I was a kid I’d see these little green bugs. I noticed that I never learned what they were called, I’ve asked around and no one seems to know. I would appreciate it if I could find out what they’re name is.
Signature: Alex Pottekkat

Green Immigrant Leaf Weevil
Green Immigrant Leaf Weevil

Hi Alex,
This is a Green Immigrant Leaf Weevil,
Polydrusus sericeus, and thanks to your letter, we can do some cleanup in our archives.  Our oldest postings of the Green Immigrant Leaf Weevil, dating to 2007, predate our Invasive Exotics tag which we use for nonnative species.  According to BugGuide, it can be identified because it is:  “completely covered with metallic green scales except for brownish or yellowish-brown legs and conspicuous black linear grooves in elytra; eyes relatively large.”  It feeds primarily on yellow birch.

Green Immigrant Leaf Weevil
Green Immigrant Leaf Weevil

Thank you so much, I’m glad I finally know what they are. 🙂

 

 

Letter 25 – Mating Invasive Green Weevils

Subject: Bug id
Location: Northern Maine
July 27, 2014 9:27 pm
Saw these getting busy on my boat trailer tire as I attempted to put air in it.
Signature: Nathan

Mating Pale Green Weevils
Mating Invasive Green Weevils

Dear Nathan,
We believe these are mating Green Immigrant Leaf Weevils,
Polydrusus sericeus, and according to BugGuide: “introduced from Europe, where it is widespread” and it feeds on “primarily Yellow Birch (Betula alleghaniensis).”  Since you image is not in critical focus, they might also be Pale Green Weevils, Polydrusus impressifrons, and they are also an invasive, introduced species.  According to BugGuide:  “native to Europe, adventive in NA (introduced ca. 1913)” though this date discrepancy information is also provided:  “earliest record in our area: NY 1906.”  Finally, BugGuide offers this comparison information with the Green Immigrant Leaf Weevil:  “P. impressifrons is similarly colored but has less conspicuous black lines in elytra, relatively small eyes positioned laterally and parallel to midline, least interocular distance 1.5 to 2 times width of eye, and elytral margins slightly sinuate and widest near apex (compare images of both species).”

Thanks for taking the time. Looks like the pale green after looking at some images. I guess it’s European bug time around here.

Originally we thought Pale Green Weevils, and then we thought the Green Immigrant Leaf Weevils were more likely.  Thanks for the confirmation.

Letter 26 – Green Immigrant Leaf Weevils

Subject: Tiger Beetle But Not?
Location: Norther Illinois
June 2, 2017 7:07 am
A little help if you please! My family enjoys looking up in wildlife guides, the bugs we find outside (and inside) our suburban home in Illinois. The closest thing we come up with for these two is the “spotted tiger beetle.” But these little guys are not spotted as the description/images/name would have us believe. Are they an undeveloped youngster version of this beetle perhaps? Or are we barking up the wrong bug? We’ve been able to identify all the other local insects thus far but are very unsure on this one. Thank you for taking the time to look! It’s kinda buggin’ me.
Signature: Benjy

Green Immigrant Leaf Weevils

Dear Benjy,
Tiger Beetles are fast moving predators, and they are nowhere near as docile as these invasive Green Immigrant Leaf Weevils.  According to BugGuide:  “native to Europe (widespread there), adventive in NA, established in the northeast (NS-*SK to *PA-IL) + *UT & BC” and they feed on “primarily Yellow Birch (
Betula alleghaniensis).”

Letter 27 – Green Immigrant Leaf Weevil

Subject:  Please identify this green bug
Geographic location of the bug:  Gun Flint Trail in Northern Minnesota
Date: 08/15/2018
Time: 03:31 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  I was standing on a dock by a lake for just a few minutes and after I got back in the car I felt something crawling in my hair. I found this green bug. He crawled but I never saw him fly so I am not sure if he could or not. I took this picture of it before letting it go back outside.
How you want your letter signed:  Jayne Pietsch

Green Immigrant Leaf Weevil

Dear Jayne,
As you can see from this BugGuide image, you encountered a Green Immigrant Leaf Weevil,
Polydrusus formosus.  According to BugGuide:  “native to Europe (widespread there), adventive in NA, established in the northeast” and it feed on “primarily Yellow Birch.”

Letter 28 – Palmetto Weevil

Palmetto wevil?
Found this BIG wevil (1.5″-2″) on the steps as I was leaving work today. I had no idea wevils got so big! I saw the Palmetto Wevil on your site and it looks like it might be the same thing with slightly different markings. Maybe it is a female? Thanks!
Kara in Fort Lauderdale, FL

Hi Kara,
This is certainly a Palmetto Weevil. Some specimens are black, some reddish brown, and some, like yours, are mottled.

Letter 29 – Palmetto Weevil

Black Beetle with Red Markings – ???
Dear Bugman:
I found this large (1.25 inches long) beetle floating in my Florida swimming pool this morning. I dipped him out with the pool net and laid the net down in the shade of some hibiscus bushes, measured and photographed the beetle. I left it there in the shady quiet to dry off, and eventually it must have departed. Can you tell me what it was?
Thank you,
Ann K.

Hi Ann,
This is a Palmetto Weevil, Rhynchophorus cruentatus.

Update from David Gracer, edible insect specialist (05/25/2006)
www.slshrimp.com
Palmetto Weevil: Rhynchophorus cruentatus
Rhynchophorus weevils: the ULTIMATE in yummy! This is the North American representative of possibly the most treasured edible insect of all. The larvae of R. cruentatus and R. palmarum were/are eaten throughout much of the New World, and other members of the genus are among the most sought-after foods in some societies. R. ferrugineus, better known as the Sago Grub, is eaten in Papua New Guinea; some people have gone there just to eat them. Yet this species, which feed on palm trees, has become introduced into many countries, from the Middle East (where it’s a serious threat to culturally-important date palms) all the way west to Spain. Most Americans, though, would probably feel that the grubs look totally disgusting. There’s a picture of them on my website. Due to its status as a premium delicacy, there is a slightly larger body of lore for these weevil grubs than for most other edible insects. Here is a report from the Caribbean: Provancher (1890) visited several Caribbean islands in 1888 and related the following (as translated by Starr [1993]): While in Port of Spain, Trinidad in May 1888, we stopped by Laventille [now a poor section of the city] one morning in the company of some Dominican fathers.. Walking along a street that skirts the hill, we came upon a black man splitting a wooden log with his hatchet, and near him a little girl holding a teacup. ‘This man is looking for palm grubs,’ one of the fathers told us. ‘Let us stop a moment if you would like to see them.’ On approaching, we saw that the log was in fact the trunk of a palm, probably a coconut palm. It was about four or five feet long and in an advanced state of decomposition. Every blow of the hatchet exposed seven or eight big, very plump grubs, each about three inches long, which the little girl was eagerly gathering into the cup. These larvae were truly handsome animals, of a lovely yellowish white and with six dainty feet near the front end. ‘And do the black people eat these grubs?’ we asked. ‘Oh no,’ we were told, ‘this food is too precious for the poor. They collect them for sale to the English gourmets, who relish them.’ ‘What price do they fetch?’ ‘A small cup such as you see there usually goes for a ‘gourde’, $1.’ We estimated that this trunk would furnish at least two such cups of grubs. These grubs are . . . [the larva of a curculionid beetle, Calandra palmarum Fabr.]. Of course “Calandra” is nothing more than an archaic classification name for Rhynchophorus. As you might imagine, the amount of money discussed would represent a great sum to those doing the gathering. This account is powerful evidence for the argument that Europeans (and, therefore, even Americans) can quickly learn to love eating insects. One of these days I will have the opportunity to eat Rhynchophorus grubs.

Letter 30 – Palmetto Weevil

giant weevil
This pinned specimen was collected March 10, 2006 at Crooked River state park in southeast Georgia. It was found in an area heavily populated by saw palmettos. I was very shocked at the size, weevils I’ve encountered in the past are always so small. I did not notice any weevil image on your site that matched up with this one and thought it might be a nice addition. From what I gathered online I think it may be a Palmetto Weevil; I would greatly appreciate if you could confirm this or let me know otherwise if it isn’t.
Anthony

Hi Anthony,
We agree that this is a Palmetto Weevil, Rhynchophorus cruentatus. There is both a black and a red form of this species. According to BugGuide, the grubs of Palmetto Weevils are considered delicacies in some parts of the world.

Letter 31 – Palmetto Weevil

Found in back yard
Location:  Boynton Beach Florida
September 22, 2010 7:13 pm
HI,
I found this beetle walking towards our air conditioner the beginning of this month, September. I have never seen a beetle colored in this manner and its nose looks like a type of weevil. The beetle was almost 1 1/2 inches long and I did not find it in any of the field guides we have in our home.
Please let me know what type of beetle this is and if I should be concerned if I find another.
Signature:  Thank you, Juel Richter

Palmetto Weevil

Dear Juel,
You are correct that this is a Weevil.  More specifically, it is a Palmetto Weevil,
Rhynchophorus cruentatus.  According to BugGuide:  “It’s natural host is the Cabbage Palmetto – Sabal palmetto, a palm native to the southeastern U.S.  However, adults and larvae associated with a WIDE variety of genera and species in the palm family Arecaceae.” BugGuide continues with this information:  “Larvae feed in the crown of the palm. If infestation is severe, the the integrity of the crown is compromised and the top of the palm falls over.”  The fat larval grubs are edible and considered delicacies.

Letter 32 – Palmetto Weevil

Subject: Red & back dot bug
Location: MT Pleasant SC
March 23, 2014 2:37 pm
Hi bugman,
I’m new to the Charleston, SC area. Sitting on my front steps, I spotted this strange looking bug which I have never seen before. Can you identify it?
It’s Spring, late March, 2014.
Thanks for your help.
~Linda
Signature: Linda SC Coast

Palmetto Weevil
Palmetto Weevil

Dear Linda,
This impressive Weevil is a Palmetto Weevil or Giant Palm Weevil,
Rhynchophorus cruentatus, and it is found in several southern states.  According to BugGuide:  “Eggs are laid in the bases of leaves or in wounds in a dying host palm and hatch in ~3 days. Larvae have tend to feed primarily on the soft tissue surrounding the apical meristem. Mature grubs migrate to the periphery of the stem or petioles, build a cocoon from palm fibers and pupate. The adult emerges in a few weeks and may immediately break free of the cocoon or spend several days within the cocoon. The entire life cycle (egg to adult) takes ~84 days. Adults may live for several weeks (up to 26 weeks in captivity).”

Hi Daniel,
Thank you for your prompt reply! Very interesting…. guess there’s no threat with this bug. It may have come from our dying or dead palm in the front which we’re having removed shortly.
Thanks again.
~Linda

Letter 33 – Palmetto Weevil

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.”

Daniel,
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,
Nick

Letter 34 – Palm Weevil Larvae, we think

deung duong

They farm it in South Thailand. These pictures are from the country in Nakhon Si Thammarat. Are they larvae or grub? Their natural habitat is infesting coconut trees I was told.

Gary J Chandler

Hi Gary,

In parts of the world, the Red Palm Weevil is a serious agricultural pest. Red palm weevil (Rhynchophorus ferrugineus), has different common names such as coconut weevil, Asiatic palm weevil, or Indian red palm weevil. It is a serious pest for coconut in some Asiatic regions and an important pest for the date palm in the Near East.

The Red Palm Weevil was recorded in some Arabian Gulf States during the eighties and then reported as a destructive insect for date palms in Egypt at 1992 (Saleh, 1992; Cox, 1993).

We believe the insects in your photos are either the Red Palm Weevil or a closely related species. Beetle larvae are known as grubs, and Weevils are beetles, so you can refer to these creatures as either larvae or grubs. They are considered edible in Thailand where many other insects are eaten as well.

Letter 35 – Giant Bamboo Weevil or Long Armed Palm Weevil from Thailand

Subject: Weevil Thailand
Location: Khao Sok, Thailand
November 14, 2013 12:09 pm
Hello,
August 2012 we did see this beetle http://observado.org/waarneming/view/73641494
in NP Khao Sok, Thailand.
I think this is Cyrtotrachelus buqueti but i’m not sure.
Can you please help to identifie this beetle?
Signature: Johan op den Dries

Giant Bamboo Weevil
Giant Bamboo Weevil

Hi Johan,
We believe you have correctly identified this as a female Giant Bamboo Weevil,
Cyrtotrachelus buqueti.  The photo on Siam Insect Zoo where it is called a Long Armed Palm Weevil is a very good match.  Males of the species have the elongated front legs.  Biodiversity in Shenzhen also has some good photos.  InsectSale.com also has a nice image.  Sinobug which has photos of the male of the species is where we first encountered the common name Giant Bamboo Weevil.

Hi Daniel,
Thanks for your support and identification.I was a big and beautiful weevil te see.
This weevil was unkown on the site observado.org. but now they added this species on the site.
Johan

Letter 36 – Red Palm Weevil from Singapore

Subject: Kissing beetle or Asassin bug maybe?
Location: Singapore
December 12, 2013 5:49 am
Just found this at my home in Singapore
Signature: James

Weevil
Red Palm Weevil

Dear James,
This is not a Kissing Bug or Assassin Bug.  It is a beetle known as a Weevil and we will attempt to determine a species identification for you.  Many Weevils are agricultural pests and they will not bite humans.  It looks like a Red Palm Weevil,
Rhynchophorus ferrugineus, based on a photo posted to the UC Riverside Center for Invasive Species Research.  This variably colored species is represented in our archives, and after stating to you they would not bite, we found a letter indicating a person was bitten by a Red Palm Weevil in Cyprus.

Many thanks J
My 5 year old son was very excited to have his picture posted on your web site and to get your answer explaining what it was and that it could be dangerous (I think he was a little disappointed it was not venomous like all the snakes and spiders he is very much into from watching many youtube videos of the most deadly )
Many thanks once again and keep up the good work with the web site J
James

Letter 37 – Red Palm Weevil in Portugal

Subject: Beetle
Location: Lisboa
March 10, 2014 8:08 am
Hello im from Lisboa, Portugal.
I found this Bug with more and less 3 cm. I know is a beetle but i dont now what specime it is ….sorry my english
Signature: Miguel Monteiro

Red Palm Weevil
Red Palm Weevil

Dear Miguel,
This is a Red Palm Weevil,
Rhynchophorus ferrugineus, and it is an introduced species in Portugal where it is threatening the palm trees.  You can read more about the threat the Red Palm Weevil poses to palms in Portugal on Acción Ambiental.

Hello
I Aprecciate your answer.
Thank you very much
Kind regards
Miguel

Letter 38 – Red Palm Weevil and Phoretic Mites from Turkey

Subject: What kind of beetle is this?
Location:  Marmaris, Turkey
September 20, 2014 3:59 pm
Hi, I am on holiday in Marmaris, Turkey and woke up to find quite a large beetle on my balcony. I took many photos and was just curious to learn what type it was. I have scoured the web and can’t seem to find it anywhere. Any help?
Signature: Joshua

There is no image attached.

Yeah because your website has no email or any way of attaching photos I shall send them to you now. I was just waiting for your reply so I could do so. Thanks!  I was particularly interested to find out what if those were eggs it was carrying?

Red Palm Weevil
Red Palm Weevil

Dear Joshua,
You can send identification request with images by using our Ask What’s That Bug? link on our site.  This is a Red Palm Weevil,
Rhynchophorus ferrugineus, a species that is doing significant damage to cultivated palm trees throughout the Mediterranean region.  According to BugGuide:  “native to so. Asia and Melanesia, since the 1980s spread into many warm coastal areas around the Indian Ocean and the Mediterranean.”  The UK Food and Environment Research Agency has an excellent pdf on the Red Palm Weevil.

Red Palm Weevil with Passengers
Red Palm Weevil with Passengers

We suspect that the passengers on your Red Palm Weevil are Mites, but we don’t know if they are parasitic or if they are phoretic, meaning they use the Weevil for transportation purposes and pose no harm to the tranporter.  The Iberia-Natur site includes images of a Red Palm Weevil with mites and it includes the following statement:  “that mites are transported on the legs of the bug. This process is called phoresy, which means the temporary use of another animal (in this case a bug) for transportation to another fee lot.”  Krishna Mohan PHotography also has images of Mites on a Red Palm Weevil and the statement:  “that mites are transported on the legs of this weevil. This process is called phoresy, which means one animal attaching to another for transportation only.”

Mites on Red Palm Weevil
Close-up of Mites on Red Palm Weevil

Letter 39 – Possibly “Dark” Red Palm Weevil

Subject: Can you plZ help me ?
Location: Southern California
March 18, 2015 12:06 am
Hi there, my name is Sonia and I’m really interested in knowing what’s this beetle … I have two big Palm trees and they are being affected my something, the Palm treas are more than 40 years of and we had to cut one of them , the leaves are falling and it seems to be like rotten in the base of the leaf , I saw this guy’s the other day wondering in the garden near the head of the Palm that got cut, and he died 2 days after, I also saw another death one yesterday and I was “attacked” by something that was black and make noise while in my garden ( I think it was another one of these )
Can you plz help me figure out that is making my trees ill ???
Signature: Sonia Villerias

Possibly Red Palm Weevil
Possibly Red Palm Weevil

Dear Sonia,
But for the dark coloration, all indications are that this is a Red Palm Weevil or Asian Palm Weevil,
Rhynchophorus ferrugineus, a species that according to BugGuide is:  “native to so. Asia and Melanesia, since the 1980s spread into many warm coastal areas around the Indian Ocean and the Mediterranean(2); in our area, CA (Orange Co.; first reported in 2010).”  The damage to your trees is consistent with the damage caused by the Red Palm Weevil, though the solid dark coloration is unusual.  According to the Center for Invasive Species Research at UC Riverside:  “Economic Damage: Red Palm Weevil is widely considered to be the most damaging insect pest of palms in the world. RPW’s are usually attracted to unhealthy palm trees, but they will often attack healthy palms too. Red Palm Weevil larvae feed within the apical growing point of the palms creating extensive damage to palm tissues and weakening the structure of the palm trunk. Palms damaged by RPW may exhibit the following symptoms: (1) presence of tunnels on the trunk or base of fronds. (2) Infested palms may emit “gnawing” sounds caused by larvae feeding inside. (3) Oozing of viscous fluids from tunnels. (4) Appearane of chewed plant material (frass) at the external entrances of feeding tunnels and a highly distinctive “fermented” odor. (5) Empty pupal cases and the bodies of dead adult RPW in and around heavily infested palms, and (6) breaking of the trunk, or toppling of the palm crown.  Feeding damage leading to the death of infested palms is widely reported in areas invaded by this pest. The primary hosts of the Red Palm Weevil include 24 species of palms in 14 genera, including most of the common landscape palms found in California. The Canary Island date palm, one of the most conspicuous and prominent palms in California, is especially susceptible to attack. The Red Palm Weevil poses a very serious threat to California’s landscape plantings of ornamental palms if it were to become established here. Commercial date production is impacted in areas where RPW is established, resulting in tree death or reduced vigor in infested date palms. Red Palm Weevil represents a potential threat to California’s $30 million dollar date crop should it become established in date-growing areas of California. Ornamental palm tree sales are estimated at $70 million per year in California, and $127 million in Florida.”  The CISR also states:  “Adult Red Palm Weevils are very large beetles, attaining body lengths, including the rostrum of 35 to 40mm (1.4-1.6 inches). The weevils have a long, slender rostrum or “snout” which the female uses to penetrate palm tissue and create access wounds in which eggs are deposited. Coloration in Rhyncophorus ferrugineus is extremely variable and has historically led to the erroneous classification of color-defined polymorphs (variants) as distinct species. Coloration in the adult weevils is predominately reddish-brown in the most typical form. The Red Palm Weevil’s collected in Laguna Beach have displayed a distinct “red striped” coloration which consists of the dorsal surfaces appearing uniformly dark brown to black, with a single, contrasting red stripe running the length of the pronotum. Consequently, there are two different color types or color morphs for RPW, adults that are predominantly reddish in color, and the others that are dark with a red streak, like the Laguna Beach specimens.”  Your dark individual may represent yet another color variant.  We strongly urge you to collect a specimen and have it identified at your local Natural History Museum.

Possibly Red Palm Weevil
Possibly Red Palm Weevil

Letter 40 – Giant Palm Weevil

Subject: Beetle identification
Location: South-West Florida near the Gulf of Mexico
July 5, 2016 9:45 pm
Can you help me identify this beetle? I took this picture this morning (July 5, 2016). This is very large beetle, approximately 1″-1 1/2″ long, not including his sword-like snout. I live in South-West Florida near the gulf. I recently had some large Live Oak, and Palm tree’s trimmed and couple palms cut down. This beetle was found scurrying around on an oak log in a stack of logs and twigs saved for firewood. There were two palm logs lying next to this stack of wood as well.
Signature: curiosity killed the cat

Giant Palm Weevil
Giant Palm Weevil

This is a Giant Palm Weevil, Rhynchophorus cruentatus, and according to BugGuide:  “19-31 mm, the largest weevil in N. Amer.”

Letter 41 – Red Palm Weevil from Israel

Subject: Red Beetle
Location: Negev, Israel
November 15, 2016 4:45 am
Found this beetle on a cut down Palm tree, as I approached him he stopped in place.
I wanted to find out what this bug is but couldn’t find anything similar.
Signature: Michael

Red Palm Weevil
Red Palm Weevil

Dear Michael,
The Red Palm Weevil,
Rhynchophorus ferrugineus, is considered a pest of cultivated palm trees in many parts of the world.  The Invasive Species Compendium has a map of its distribution,  Times of Malta and Springer Link both have helpful information on the Red Palm Weevil.  

Letter 42 – 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.
Regards,
Mihajlo

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

 

Letter 43 – Tropical Weevil: Brentus anchorago

Looked like a walkingstick with antlers!
Location: Marathon, Florida (Florida Keys)
December 8, 2011 1:45 pm
While in the sideyard in Mid-May, I spotted this strange creature on a wooden fence. I hurried for the camera and took two photos before it crawled away. I have never seen one like it before or since that day. My research has turned up nothing similar either.
Signature: Gail

Tropical Weevil

Hi Gail,
The last time we received an image of this Tropical Weevil,
Brentus anchorago, the photograph was taken in Costa Rica.  It is, according to BugGuide:  “widespread in neotropics: Mexico, West Indies, South America. In North America, found only in southernmost Florida.” 

Letter 44 – Tropical Weevil: Brentus anchorago

Subject: Tropical Weevil: Brentus anchorago
Location: Key Largo, Florida
September 11, 2013 8:13 pm
Saw this on the side of my house today after a heavy down pour. I’m in Key Largo.
My yard is full of Gumbo Limbos. Just wanted add to the photos already submitted.
Signature: Ellen

Tropical Weevil: Brentus anchorago
Tropical Weevil: Brentus anchorago

Hi Ellen,
Thanks for sending us another image of this unusually shaped Tropical Weevil,
Brentus anchoragoWe have an older image of Brentus anchorago that was also photographed in Key Largo.

Letter 45 – Tropical Weevil from Brazil

Subject: Prehistoric Snout Creature
Location: Guapimirim, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
March 2, 2014 9:23 am
Dear Bugman,
During our recent visit to the Atlantic Rainforests of Brazil we encountered many strange visitors in our poussada near the Serra dos Orgaos National Park in Teresopolis.
This particular one was allso known by our host Leandro, though not by name …
Roughly about 5 cm size. Not very agile and completely silent.
Signature: Lickafoot

Tropical Weevil
Tropical Weevil

Dear Lickafoot,
This beetle is classified as a Weevil, and it looks very similar to a Tropical Weevil,
Brentus anchorago, sometimes found in southern Florida that we have posted several times to our site.  According to BugGuide, it is:  “widespread in neotropics: Mexico, West Indies, South America. In North America, found only in southernmost Florida.”  There is a photo of Brentus anchorago on our sister site from Brazil, Insetologia.

Letter 46 – Tropical Weevil: Brentus anchorago

Subject: This is the weirdest beetle I’ve ever seen
Location: Sarapiqui, Costa Rica
January 17, 2015 8:39 pm
Hi guys, I’ve got another puzzle for you! This time it’s a beetle (I think), maybe a sort of weevil? I found it hanging out on my bed (eek!) in Saripiqui, Costa Rica when I returned from a hike. It looks like its antennae are coming out of its nose! From the tip of the antennae to the bottom it was about a third the length of my hand, with yellow vertical marks on its back. (photo taken Jan 10, 2015)
Signature: Lauren

Tropical Weevil: Brentus anchorago
Tropical Weevil: Brentus anchorago

Dear Lauren,
Your beetle is a Tropical Weevil,
Brentus anchorago.

Letter 47 – Salted Bugs from Israel

Subject: Salted Bugs
Location: Dead Sea, Israel
January 22, 2017 2:02 am
Hi Bug Folks,
Not looking for an identification this time, just sending pictures of an interesting phenomenon.
I was hiking along the Dead Sea coast in the Judean Desert, and came across several insects preserved in salt. I don’t know how long they were there or how they came to be there, but they seem very well preserved.
Enjoy!
Signature: Ben from Israel

Weevil

Dear Ben,
We apologize for taking so long to get back to you, but we had extra work responsibilities in January.  Thanks so much for informing us of this interesting phenomenon.   Salting is a well known food preservation technique, so these “bugs” might be quite old, though we doubt they are actual fossils.

Wasp
True Bug

Authors

  • Bugman

    Bugman aka Daniel Marlos has been identifying bugs since 1999. whatsthatbug.com is his passion project and it has helped millions of readers identify the bug that has been bugging them for over two decades. You can reach out to him through our Contact Page.

    View all posts
  • Piyushi Dhir

    Piyushi is a nature lover, blogger and traveler at heart. She lives in beautiful Canada with her family. Piyushi is an animal lover and loves to write about all creatures.

    View all posts
Tags: Weevils

Related Posts

15 Comments. Leave new

  • Absolutely, this is the poster bug for entomophagy! Not only that, but intrepid folks wanting to sample the grubs (the adult form is also edible, according to what I’ve read) are no longer obliged to visit Papua New Guinea. This species has increased its range all the way from West from there to Spain!! Impressive.

    I tried a Rhynchophorus grub in Florida once, and it was sublime.

    Dave
    http://www.smallstockfoods.com

    Reply
  • I think it could be a Golden Headed Weevil (Compsus auricephalus). The species comes in a range of color variations (green to off-white, or striped), but the head color is distinctive. The Bugguide has a good selection of photos that shows some of the variety. (http://bugguide.net/node/view/207372).

    Reply
  • I have found this insect in my signature Gumbo Limbo here in Marathon. They are living inside the bark and have made massive nests. I have multiple photos and video if needed. Looks to be eating the Gumbo Limbo.

    Reply
  • Do you have any photos of the Elephant Weevil Cocoon stage?

    Reply
  • Ben from Israel
    February 4, 2017 11:47 pm

    Hi Daniel,
    These are most definitely NOT fossils, as they were found right on the beach of the Dead Sea. Sadly, the Dead Sea is shrinking at an alarming rate, its surface dropping an average 1.20 meters (about 4 feet) a year! So these insects landed, died and got covered in salt within the last two or three months.
    That being said, if any of your readers want to experience the Dead Sea, they’d better hurry up!

    Reply
  • Ben from Israel
    February 4, 2017 11:47 pm

    Hi Daniel,
    These are most definitely NOT fossils, as they were found right on the beach of the Dead Sea. Sadly, the Dead Sea is shrinking at an alarming rate, its surface dropping an average 1.20 meters (about 4 feet) a year! So these insects landed, died and got covered in salt within the last two or three months.
    That being said, if any of your readers want to experience the Dead Sea, they’d better hurry up!

    Reply
  • Just found this pest on my kitchen wall. I live in Central Florida. First time I see one.

    Reply
  • Found one crawling on the bathroom door today. :-/

    Reply
  • Domingo Sánchez McNabb
    August 27, 2019 10:06 am

    Lo hemos encontrado en especies de ficus, en la Isla de San Andrés, Providencia y Santa Catalina, Colombia

    Reply
  • I live in southeastern Washington State. Many of my neighbors including myself have Kentucky Blue Grass and they have infested our lawns. They have devoured and killed large areas of our lawns before we knew it was a bug and not just drought conditions. We are told we cannot kill them but just hope to control their numbers. Plan is to thatch and reseed lawns when the heat of summer is over.

    Reply
  • Brian H. Reily
    February 23, 2022 7:18 pm

    Oxyderces viridipes (Boheman, 1840)

    Lots of recent records of this Colombian species across the USA on iNaturalist. Seems to be being brought in with cut flowers.

    Reply

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