BehaviorThis weevil usually infests palms younger than twelve years. While the adult causes some damage through feeding, it is the burrowing of the larva into the heart of the palm that can cause the greatest mortality of trees. The adult female lays approximately two hundred eggs on new growth in the crown of the palm, at the base of young leaves, or in open lesions on the plant. The egg hatches into a white, legless larva. The larva will feed on the soft fibres and terminal buds, tunnelling through the internal tissue of the tree for about a month. The larvae can occasionally grow to a length of six to seven inches. At pupation, the larva will leave the tree and form a cocoon built of dry palm fibers in leaf litter at the base of the tree. The total life cycle takes about 7–10 weeks.The behaviour and bionomics of the red palm weevil have been investigated in the field . The microclimatic conditions inside palm stamps, where the weevil develop are some lower then outer, sunny atmosphere during summer. The microclimate of the infected trees was always higher in temperature compared healthy ones, by 1–2°C.This difference was observed with respect to different cultivars of palms. The biology and life history of the weevil have been investigated on five diets, namely banana, sugarcane, squash fruit, apple and palm crown. The weevil was maintained on these diets, but the rate of development showed great variation. Beeing shortest on palm crown, followed by banana and then squash fruit and apple and longest on sugarcane. Egg production was the highest on palm crown, being 338 ± 37.24 eggs/female followed by banana, squash fruit, and apple, and the lowest on sugarcane. (
HabitatBangladesh, Bahrain, Cambodia, China, India, Indonesia, Japan, Kuwait, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, Oman, Pakistan, Philippines, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Sri Lanka, Taiwan, Thailand, United Arab Emirates and Vietnam, also Papua-New Guinea and Solomon Islands. It has most recently been reported in Slovenia, France, Italy, Malta, Greece, Spain, Portugal, Turkey, Cyprus, Syria, Morocco, Aruba and the United States.
ReproductionThe neonate larvae are yellow-white, segmented, legless, and have a chitinous head capsule that is a darker brown than the rest of the body. They have powerful horizontal conical jaws which they use to burrow from the axils of the leaves to the crown, where they feed voraciously. Upon completion of larval development, the larva will emerge from the trunk of the tree, and build a pupal case of fiber extracted from the galleries inside the palm. The larva will then undergo metamorphosis into an adult.
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