P&PDL Picture of the Week for
August 8, 2005

See No Weevil

Tim Gibb, Insect Diagnostician, Department of Entomology , Purdue University

The weevils are an interesting family of beetles that are often called "snout weevils" because of their characteristically, long curved beak.  These beetle occur throughout the world and feed on a very broad range of plant materials, from roots to flowers, and from seeds to leaves.  Many weevils are serious pests damaging either stored food products or living plants. Some weevils feed on turfgrass, others on vegetables, stored grains, nuts, or on trees or fruits.

In most cases, the best preliminary identification of a weevil can be based upon where the beetle is found.  The beetles are usually quite specific in which plant they choose to feed on and lay their eggs in. Common names such as alfalfa weevil, bean weevil, rice weevil, clover weevil, rhubarb weevil, strawberry root weevil, acorn weevil, pine weevil, pecan weevil, and granary weevil, to name a few, indicate the specific food preferences of these insects.  So, next time that a client or customer calls about a weevil, ask them to also note the commodity on which the weevil is found.  It will give you the best hint as to what kind of weevil it is and an excellent starting place for your research.

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Purdue Plant & Pest Diagnostic Lab Purdue Cooperative Extension Service