Conotrachelus nenuphar

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Plum curculio, Conotrachelus nenuphar
Source: Wikipedia - USDA

Conotrachelus nenuphar (Harris, 1841) - (plum curculio)

The weevil is an important pest of stone and pome fruits (especially apple) in North America east of the Rocky Mountains. The female lays eggs under the skin of the developing fruits and the larvae develop inside the fruit. Infested fruits usually drop prematurely. Apart from apples, peaches, plums, apricots, cherries and blueberries are the main fruits attacked. The adults of both sexes also feed on the fruits. Both, the feeding scars left by the adults and fruits infested by larvae are not marketable. Up to 85% of fruits may be damaged at harvest time. In some fruits (e.g. cherries) any level of infestation can be unacceptable.

The adults lay their eggs during spring and the development of the egg and larval stages lasts around 4-6 weeks. The mature larvae leave the fruits, bury into the ground and pupate. The adults emerge in the summer and feed on the fruits. There is only one generation per year in northern parts of North America, but there are 2 generations in the south. The adults overwinter on the ground under leaf litter or other vegetation. For control, organophosphates like azinphos-methyl have been used in the past, but these are being phased out. Replacement pesticides are under development, as are resistant cultivars.

Vernacular names
• Deutsch: nordamerikanischer Pflaumenrüssler
• English: plum curculio
• Español: picudo de la ciruela
• Français: charançon de la prune

The adult is about 4-6 mm long, mottled with brown, black and grey. The elytra are bumpy and usually have 4 main humps.

For a review see Vincent et al., 1999.