Rhinoncomimus latipes (weed bioagent)

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Rhinoncomimus latipes (click on image to enlarge it)
Source: Flickr
Rhinoncomimus latipes (click on image to enlarge it)
Source: Flickr

Rhinoncomimus latipes (weed bioagent) Korotyaev, 1997 - (mile-a-minute weevil)

This tiny weevil is an important biological control agents of the mile-a-minute weed, Persicaria perfoliata and feeds specifically on this plant. The adults feed on the leaves and the larvae bore into the stems. The weevil is native to eastern Asia and has been deliberately introduced into North America since 2004. While it has been shown to be effective as a biological control agents, the weevil has a limited dispersal ability and rarely flies. Therefore, active introductions into infested areas is often necessary.

The adults are 2-3 mm long and black when emerging from the pupae. After feeding, its colour turns orange-brown. Larvae, emerging from the eggs bore into the stems of the weed and once mature, drop to the ground and pupate in the soil. One generation lasts around 1 month and there are typically 3-4 generations per year. The adults of the last generation overwinter in the soil.