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Weevil

Weevil

The Weevil species occur in a wide range of colours and body shapes. Many are slender or oval-shaped insects. Depending on the species, weevils range in size from about 3 mm to over 10 mm in length. They are usually dark-coloured – brownish to black. Some have scales or shiny hairs covering part of their bodies. The most distinctive feature of weevils is the shape of their head. An adult weevil has an elongated head that forms a snout. The mouth is at the end of the snout. Some weevils have a snout that is as long as the body. Weevils feed on plants in the larval stage and as adults. Some weevils can be very destructive to crops. For many years, one of the most destructive weevils was the cotton boll weevil. The black vine weevil is the species that is usually found in Ireland. Approximately 12 mm in length, black vine weevils are ovoid in shape and are covered with tiny hairs. They range from brown to gray in colour and possess short snouts. The antennae of these weevils feature elbows, and their wings bear small pits. Black vine weevils are known to attack various plants, trees, shrubs and herbs. Adults feed on leaves and stems of plants, while larvae feed on fine and main roots. The feeding behaviour of black vine weevil larvae causes more damage to affected plants than that of adults. Females emerge in early summer and will feed for about a month before laying eggs. She may lay almost 200 eggs in her lifetime. The eggs hatch and the larvae feed on the roots of the plant. Larvae spend the winter in a dormant state and will pupate the following spring. Black vine weevils can be challenging to control. There are very few natural predators of this weevil species. They are also nocturnal in nature and tend to dwell in subterranean environments.