|The Filbert weevil, Curculio occidentis, a pest of oak trees|
Weevils are herbivorous beetles. They have a long 'snout' at the front of their head, called a rostrum. Weevils are a family, the Curculionidae, which may be the largest beetle family, with about 45,000+ named living species. That makes it the largest family in the animal kingdom. In addition, the superfamily Curculionoidea has ten more families of closely related weevil-type beetles.
Damaging pests[change | edit source]
The Ips genus, feeding on Ponderosa pine, introduces a fungus to the tree. The fungus blocks resin canals, which leaves the weevil free to eat. Resin would normally wash the insects out; it is a defence mechanism. The fungus often kills the tree, and groups of dead trees are a focus for forest fires. In this way the insect is indirectly responsible for serious fires.
References[change | edit source]
- John L. Foltz (1998). "Coleoptera: Curculionidae". Archived from the original on August 29, 2010. http://web.archive.org/web/20100829172620/http://entomology.ifas.ufl.edu/foltz/eny3005/lab1/coleoptera/Curculionid.htm.
- David Grimaldi & Michael S. Engel 2005. Evolution of the insects. Cambridge University Press. p359 ISBN 0-521-82149-5