Mecinus janthinus (weed bioagent)

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Mecinus janthinus (click on image to enlarge it)
Author(s): Bob Richard, USDA APHIS PPQ
Source: IPM Images

Mecinus janthinus (weed bioagent) Germar, 1821

This species is a European stem-boring weevil, introduced into North America against toadflax weeds (1991-1999). The weevil was subsequently found to be a complex of 2 (possibly 3) closely related species which differ in geographic distribution and host plants. M. janthinus feeds on yellow toadflax (Linaria vulgaris) whereas Mecinus janthiniformis feeds on Dalmatian toadflax, Linaria dalmatica.

M. janthinus is native in northern, central and south-eastern Europe and is usually found in lowlands up to 500 m. It is univoltine and the mature larva builds a pupal chamber in the stem of L. vulgaris where it pupates. The young adult overwinters inside the pupal chamber and emerges in spring. The development from egg to pupation lasts about 2 months.