A big nose never spoiled a handsome face.
I set out the moth light the other night and had a few species come in, but had many non-moth visitors – katydids, a praying mantis, lots of caddisflies, and one very interesting little guy, a weevil.
Weevils are the largest family of beetles with over 3000 species in North America. They are distinguished by often having a distinctive snout (rostrum) with chewing mouth parts at the end, and antennae part way down its length. They are plant feeders of one sort and many are considered agricultural pests, but, they sure are interesting and crazy-looking creatures. The Kaufman Field Guide to Insects of North America states that hardly any plant is not affected by at least one species of Curculionidae.
My visitor the other night looks like one of the acorn weevils, Curculio sp. They are tan to brown with a long rostrum and spurs on the femurs of their legs. Weevil antennae are elbowed and can fit into a special groove in the snout.
I am guessing this may be a female since they tend to have longer snouts, at least as long as their body. So, she has probably been using the mandibles at the tip of that “nose” to chew holes in some of the many acorns out back. She then turns around and lays an egg into that hole. Her baby will feed on the meat of the nut and then chew its way out and pupate in the soil once the acorn falls. I reported on the fascinating grubs of acorn weevils in an earlier post. No matter your opinion on the dietary costs of weevils, you gotta admit, they are one odd-looking, and some may even say, cute, critters.
Excellent macros of a fascinating specimen. Thanks.
Love this and all the informative photographs/articles – thank you for doing what you do!
Thank you, Lucy.
Are all weevils about the same size? I only remember people talking about the cotton weevils when I lived in the South. I didn’t realized there are 3000 kinds…wow.
Most that we have here are pretty small. This is actually a fairly large species. I have seen them much larger from the tropics.
An interesting insect. Nice photos! Did you know there’s a statue featuring a boll weevil in Enterprise, Alabama? They were destroying the cotton crops so the farmers switched to peanuts and made a lot of $$$ as a result. Here’s a Smithsonian article about it: https://www.smithsonianmag.com/history/agricultural-pest-honored-herald-prosperity-enterprise-alabama-180963506/
Interesting, thanks for sharing.