Which black weevil?

After the green broad-nosed weevil last week, we have another Weevil Challenge. There are a lot of these particular black weevils around the clearing this week (late June).

The snout again suggests the broad-nosed weevil family (Entiminae) and within that they look likely to be one of the red-legged members of the Otiorhynchus genus – but which of the 1000+ species do we have the honour of feeding?

Wikipedia offers as interesting fact about the Otiorhynchi: some are parthenogenic i.e. they can breed without fertilisation and have more sets of chromosomes than normal; the rest have the two sets (one from mother, one from father) but are bisexual. I hope the pair in the picture know what they are doing, it all sounds very confusing.Some are real pests if you are growing fruit and Vine Weevil larvae eat the roots of many garden plants. Adults eat notches out of leaves at night – is that weevil damage under the cavorting twosome?

There’s a nice French identification chart here which presumably still applies even after Brexit. Darker red legs ending in furry boots and a few spots round the wing case – Otiorhynchus lugdunensis maybe?

This looks just like ours but we’re rank amateurs and the internet isn’t always right anyway. Without a specimen and a microscope its hard to tell even with a good key but if I find any more weevils in the wood and I might just order myself an identification guide.  Mark Telfer’s website is a good resource  and he recommends Mike Morris’ True Weevils (Parts I to III). There’s a film pun in there somewhere. And for the (even more) serious, there’s always Die Rüsselkäfer Baden-Württembergs. He say’s its a bargain on Amazon at a mere £60. Maybe it is, but its not on my Christmas list yet.

 

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