The nut-loving Acorn Weevil efficiently uses acorns that it collects: as larvae, acorns are food, and as adults, acorns are a secret nursery.
Acorn Weevils have a long snout reminiscent of an elephant's trunk. This unique proboscis makes it easier to identify this type of beetle. This snout has chewing mouth parts at the end. Females lay a fertilized egg into the soft tissue of a young, green acorn, the seed of oak trees. Through summertime, the acorn grows and hardens. Inside the weevil larva feeds on part of the seed's interior. In early autumn, the brown, hardened acorn falls off the branch onto the ground below. Soon after, the weevil larva inside chews a small hole into the acorn seed and leaves the empty acorn, burrowing into the soil. There it remains hidden from predators all winter, after which it pupates and develops into an adult.
Acorn Weevils can inhibit oak tree expansion if an area is infested with them. Their larval diet of acorns can result in fewer viable seeds for new oak trees in that area. However, existing trees are not in any danger from this insect. There are natural predators to the adult Acorn Weevil. It is hunted by a variety of Weevil Wasps to eventually be eaten alive by hatching wasp larvae.
Scientific Name: Conotrachelus posticatus
Other Name(s): Nut Weevil
Size (Adult; Length): 4mm to 10mm (0.16in to 0.39in)
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Antennae: Beetles have a pair of antennae on the head used as sensors.
Head: The head is home to the insect's eyes, antennae, and mandibles (jaws).
Thorax: Holds the three pairs of legs as well as vital internal organs.
Elytron: One of two wing cases on a Beetle that protects its wings (plural: elytra).
Wings: Appendages used for flying and kept under the elytra until needed.
Abdomen: Houses organs related to circulation, reproduction, and excretion.
Legs: Beetles have three pairs of legs located at the thorax, numbering six legs in all.