Curculio caryae

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Curculio caryae (click on image to enlarge it)
Author(s): Natasha Wright, Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services
Source: IPM Images

Curculio caryae Horn 1873 - (pecan weevil)

This weevil is found in pecan growing areas of North America and is a serious pest of commercial pecan orchards. All species of the genus Carya are attacked and there are also a few reports of infestations on walnut trees (Juglans regia) if they grow near pecan trees (Harris et al., 2010). The adults feed on the developing nuts and the larvae feed inside the nuts on the kernels, destroying them. Crop losses of 30% or more have been recorded.

The young adult weevils emerge from the ground in the summer, when the pecan nuts have reached an advanced stage of development. Feeding damage by the adults often results in inferior nuts with a bitter taste or black spots on the kernel. Females lay eggs into their feeding holes and the emerging larvae develop inside the nuts for about a month, while these are still hanging on the trees. Typically 2-4 larvae are found in an infested nut. The mature larvae chew an exit hole into the shell, leave the nut and drop to the ground. They burrow around 30 cm into the soil, construct a chamber and go into diapause for 1 to 2 years before pupating. One generation is completed within 2-3 years.

Most larvae exit the nuts before the harvest, but some remain in the kernel and may be shipped with the processed nuts, posing a quarantine risk.

The adult weevil is light brown to greyish brown, with an extremely long snout. The body is between 10 and 15 mm long, with the snout of females being about as long as the body and that of males being somewhat shorter. The snout is curved towards the tip.

For a review see Mulder et al. (2012).