Revision of Introduction to weevils from Sat, 2008-10-11 21:11

The Curculionoidea (weevils) are a hyperdiverse group of beetles
with between 60,000 and 70,000 described species. They can be distinguished from most other
beetles by their possession of a tubular extension to the front of the head -
the rostrum - on which the mouthparts are borne. Some weevils apparently lack a rostrum, in
particular the bark beetles and powder post beetles (Scolytinae and
Platypodinae), and a very few other beetles have a similar structure, but in
the majority of cases the structure is diagnostic

Most weevils are plant-feeding both as larvae and adults, although
there are a number of fungus-feeders. The
adults mainly feed externally, as do some larvae. Most species, however, have
internally-feeding larvae, these gaining protection against predators,
parasitoids and desiccation by this means. The adult female will use her rostrum to drill
a hole in the plant into which she deposits one or more eggs. Weevil larvae can be found on or in all plant
parts: boring in roots, stems and leaves, feeding in buds, fruit or seeds, creating
galls, and utilising both dead and living plants. Some weevil species are agricultural,
agricultural or horticultural pests, while others are immensely economically
valuable in biocontrol or as pollinators

Weevil classification is problematic, and there is still great
disagreement on the phylogenetic relationships or even validity of most groups
within the superfamily. On this site two
classifications are given, so that users can see how different taxonomists are
today using the names.

Scratchpads developed and conceived by (alphabetical): Ed Baker, Katherine Bouton Alice Heaton Dimitris Koureas, Laurence Livermore, Dave Roberts, Simon Rycroft, Ben Scott, Vince Smith