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Cionus tuberculosus - Young larva  Cionini,Cionus,Cionus tuberculosus,Curculionidae,Curculioninae,Larva,Weevil Click/tap to enlarge PromotedCountry intro

    comments (11)

  1. That is so cool! Posted 2 years ago
    1. Yes, I have a thing for mucus-covered larvae all sorts. Should make a note to upload some more here ... :o) Posted 2 years ago
      1. I do as well, and would love to see what you’ve got! Posted 2 years ago
  2. Wow! I would have never imagined, thanks for sharing! Posted 2 years ago
    1. A few years back it also took me a while to figure out what these belonged to. I did already know the mucus-larvae of Caliroa and Oelema, so I was looking in the wrong direction ... Posted 2 years ago
  3. Arp, do you know if this slime is considered to be a fecal shield? I can't find much info on this species. Posted 7 months ago
    1. Hi Christine, I'd say that's up for discussion along the lines of semantics. The slime is produced/secreted by glands in the intestines, so technically it can be argued that it would count as "fecal" matter and indeed sometimes smaller particles of true fecal matter are found inside the slime, but I would classify that as "by product" of it passing to the same "duct". By no means these make an effort to have their true fecal matter absorbed/integrated into the slime in a way that the likes of Oulema or Lilioceris do:
      Oulema sp. larva striptease One of my first series of an Oulema larva - I removed the slime and faecal cover to show the structure of the larva Camouflage,Chrysomelidae,Criocerinae,Larva,Oulema
      Lilioceris lilii - Larva showing Larva showing more of itself from under the poo-camouflage Camouflage,Chrysomelidae,Criocerinae,Larva,Lilioceris,Lilioceris lilii,Lily leaf beetle,Scarlet lily beetle,nl: Leliehaantje

      As seen on the image below the true poo is deposited on the substrate, not (intentionally) left in the slime:
      Cionus tuberculosus - Larval poo factory Not a sharp/good image, but I quite like the way it shows the larva munching away at the leaf on one side and leaving left overs on the other ... :o)  Cionini,Cionus,Cionus tuberculosus,Curculionidae,Curculioninae,Larva,Weevil

      So, on the Cionini the slime remains mostly clear and it is thought to provide "camouflage" maybe more so than making them unpalatable, but I don't think any researcher has ever asked a potential predator about that.
      Before spinning a cocoon the glands in the intestines start producing silk, the slime layer is removed and the naked larva spins a cocoon. I was surprised by this (just read up on it a little) as I had somehow always suspected the cocoon to be largely dried "slime" reinforced with some spun secretion.
      Cionus tuberculosus - Cocoon w. larva visible Fresh cocoon with the shape of the larva still recognizable inside Cionini,Cionus,Cionus tuberculosus,Cocoon,Curculionidae,Curculioninae,Larva,Weevil
      Cionus tuberculosus - Exuviae Tipical exit opening of a healthy cocoon of this species. Note the opening round and very far toward the widest section of the cocoon. The "lid" sometimes gets chewed off completely and drops away, but compare with the opening in this cocoon, made by the parasitoid wasp:<br />
https://www.jungledragon.com/image/71565/parasitoid_wasp_from_cionus_tuberculosus_cocoon.html Cionini,Cionus,Cionus tuberculosus,Cocoon,Curculionidae,Curculioninae,Exuviae,Weevil

      Posted 7 months ago, modified 7 months ago
      1. Wow, Arp! Thanks so much for the detailed explanation. Fecal shields are awesome, but slime shields are equally awesome. It's just so delightfully gross. If I was an insect-eating predator, I would not eat a larva covered in slime or feces. But, I guess, never say never. It is very interesting that they produce silk in the manner you describe! That would be the ideal time to eat one of these larvae -- once the slime is removed. Posted 7 months ago
        1. There is a wasp that specializes on the larvae of Cionus to fill its broodchambers with (Symmorphus gracilis). The few images I know of this wasp carrying away a Cionus larva are of "naked" larvae indeed :o)

          Posted 7 months ago, modified 7 months ago
          1. Wow, that's incredible! Posted 7 months ago
  4. Today's Facebook post:

    Today’s Day 2 of our unusual ‘creature feature’ week! #JungleDragon

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    This is a weevil larva! The larvae of Cionus tuberculosus cover themselves in slime that is secreted by glands in their intestines. This slime provides camouflage and makes it unpalatable to predators. One would assume it is an effective deterrent because, well, yuck! {Spotted in Netherlands by Pudding4brains} #Weevillarva #Cionustuberculosus

    Posted 7 months ago

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Cionus tuberculosus is one of the small species of weevils in the tribe Cionini that have free living larvae on the plant's surface which are covered in slime for protection and create little cocoons of larval secretion.

Similar species: Beetles
Species identified by Pudding4brains
View Pudding4brains's profile

By Pudding4brains

Public Domain
Uploaded Dec 24, 2018.