Family: Brentidae (primitive weevils, cycad weevils)

Life > Eukaryotes > Opisthokonta > Metazoa (animals) > Bilateria > Ecdysozoa > Panarthropoda > Tritocerebra > Arthopoda > Mandibulata > Atelocerata > Panhexapoda > Hexapoda > Insecta (insects) > Dicondyla > Pterygota > Metapterygota > Neoptera > Eumetabola > Holometabola > Coleoptera (beetles) > Polyphaga > Curculionoidea

Small to medium sized (4-20mm, excluding extended snouts) with narrow, parallel-sided bodies. The heads are slender and constricted at the back to form a neck.The females drill holes in wood and with Antliarhinus, into cycad seeds. The mandibles (jaws) are situated at the end of the rostrum (snout). With Antliarhinus, the rostrum can be 3 times the length of the body while the male rostrum is shorter. In some species, males have broad rostra with strong mandibles, that are reported to be used to carry females prior to mating.

Once the holes are drilled, the females lay their eggs inside and the larvae feed on wood or fungi in the holes. Adults feed on fungi, sap or wood-eating insects.

Antliarhinus zamiae (Cycad weevil), body length 9mm. [image by M. Picker & C. Griffiths , from Field Guide to Insects of South Africa, used with permission].

Eupsalis vulsellata (Common brentid), 11mm. [image by M. Picker & C. Griffiths , from Field Guide to Insects of South Africa, used with permission].

 

Page by Margie Cochrane


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