Palmetto weevil in Florida, USA


This video from the USA says about itself:

18 January 2017

Florida Palmetto Weevil – is a huge “bug” and this is the first one I have ever seen in the Backyard or anywhere! …

The largest weevil in North America is the palmetto weevil, Rhynchophorus cruentatus Fabricius. The palmetto weevil is native to Florida and until recently was the only species of palm weevil in the continental United States. Once, the palmetto weevil was considered a minor pest, attacking only severely wounded and dying trees. However, it is now known to be a pest of stressed nursery and transplanted palms as well as apparently healthy Canary Island date, Bismarck (Bismarckia nobilis) and Latan (Latania spp.) palms. The adults of this species display various color variations. They can also be quite variable in overall size.

Weevils are a family of beetle that have their mandibles at the end of a, sometimes, very long rostrum (a snoutlike projection of the head). In fact, the rostrum of some weevils (i.e., nut weevils) is as long as their bodies. These modified mouthparts are used for feeding and to prepare holes in host plant material in which eggs are laid. Weevils are a large, diverse and important group of insects. Most feed on plant material, and many are considered to be economic pests. While some adults feed outside the plant, the larvae (or grubs), which have relatively large mandibles and are legless, feed cryptically within the host plant.

Worldwide, there are ten described species of weevils in the genus Rhynchophorus that feed on palms.

The ‘Florida’ palmetto weevil, Rhynchophorus cruentatus, has been reported from coastal regions of South Carolina south through the Florida Keys, and west into coastal Texas. It is also present throughout the state of Florida. Fossil records suggest that the palmetto weevil was present in Florida during the Pleistocene (about 1 million years ago).

Read more here.

6 thoughts on “Palmetto weevil in Florida, USA

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