Subfamily: Bruchinae (pea weevils, bean weevils, seed 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 > Superfamily: Chrysomeloidea > Family: Chrysomelidae

Small beetle (2-5mm). Compact, oval beetles with grooved elytra that do not cover the entire abdomen. Dull brown, black or mottled. Eggs are laid in seeds and larvae burrow into them. Characteristic holes remain in the seed after adults emerge.

The seed weevils used to be placed in a separate family called the Bruchidae but they have now been relegated to a subfamily of the Chrysomelidae, a large family of leaf-feeding beetles. Seed weevils feed on seeds in the larval stage, mainly those of legumes (beans, acacias, etc.). Larvae are parasitised by little parasitic wasps such as species of Eupelmus. See also Curculionidae weevils.

Neltumius arizonensis

Neltumius arizonensis, Bean weevil, 4mm. [image by M. Picker & C. Griffiths , from Field Guide to Insects of South Africa, used with permission].

Typical bruchid damage to beans. [image by M. Picker & C. Griffiths , from Field Guide to Insects of South Africa, used with permission].

Sulcobruchus subsuturalis. Introduced to South Africa to control the weed Caesalpinia decapetala (Mauritius Thorn).

References

  • Coetzer, W. 2000. Oviposition preference of Sulcobruchus subsuturalis (Pic) (Coleoptera: Bruchidae), an introduced natural enemy of Caesalpinia decapetala (Roth) Alston (Caesalpiniaceae) in South Africa. African Entomology 8: 293-297.

Page by Margie Cochrane


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