Red palm weevil

Rhynchophorus ferrugineus

The red palm weevil, ''Rhynchophorus ferrugineus'', is a species of snout beetle also known as the Asian palm weevil or sago palm weevil. The adult beetles are relatively large, ranging between two and five centimeters long, and are usually a rusty red colour - but many colour variants exist and have often been misidentified as different species . Weevil larvae can excavate holes in the trunk of a palm trees up to a metre long, thereby weakening and eventually killing the host plant. As a result, the beetle weevil is considered a major pest in palm plantations, including the coconut palm, date palm and oil palm. Originally from tropical Asia, the red palm weevil has spread to Africa and Europe, reaching the Mediterranean in the 1980s. It was first recorded in Spain in 1994, and in France in 2006. The weevil was first reported in the Americas on Curaçao in January 2009 and sighted the same year in Aruba. It was reported in the United States at Laguna Beach, CA late in 2010.
In the European Union, there have been confirmed detections in Italy , and there are suspect reports suggesting that it has established along the Mediterranean coast of France and Portugal. Researchers also suspect that it has established in Morocco, Algeria and other North African countries, but there remains no official confirmation.
Curculionidae (Snout Beetle) They are recognized by their distinctive long snout and geniculate antennae with small clubs; beyond that, curculionids have considerable diversity of form and size, with adult lengths ranging from 1 to 40 millimetres (0.04 to 1.57 in).
Weevils are almost entirely plant feeders, and most species are associated with a narrow range of hosts, in many cases only living on a single species. With so many species to classify and over 400 genera, the taxonomy of this family is quite complicated, and authors disagree on the number and placement of various subfamilies, tribes and subtribes.
The word "weevil" has been made famous by the boll weevil, which lays its eggs and feeds inside cotton bolls, ruining the crop.
[edit] Curculionidae,Insects,MACRO,Rhynchophorus ferrugineus,Snout Beetle,beetles,invasive species

Behavior

This 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. (
Rhynchophorus ferrugineus Rhynchophorus ferrugineus on a winter day...

EXIF: Nikon Nikkor 50mm 1:1.8 E | f/8 | EXT I Curculionidae,Rhynchophorus ferrugineus,beetle,coleoptera,insecta,insects,invasive species

Habitat

Bangladesh, 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.
Snout Beetle Side view of a Snout Beetle with its typical red/orange long snout. Beetles,Curculionidae,Insects,MACRO,Rhynchophorus ferrugineus,Snout Beetle,Weevils

Reproduction

The 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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Taxonomy
KingdomAnimalia
DivisionArthropoda
ClassInsecta
OrderColeoptera
FamilyCurculionidae
GenusRhynchophorus
SpeciesR. ferrugineus
Photographed in
Portugal