The long beak and narrow body of the Oak Timberworm Weevil strays from the more familiar weevil's snout and humpback.
An Oak Timberworm Weevil female lays her fertilized eggs on the injured or scraped parts of an oak tree, then pushes each egg deeper into the tree's wound. She then covers the eggs with frass, a powdery mix of her own feces and wood shavings. Finding injured spots on the tree saves her the time and effort of having to chew an opening into the bark.
Healthy trees require her to use that long beak to break into the bark to create an opening. Unlike most beetles, the female Oak Timberworm Beetle consistently cleans her antennae of wood debris while she bores into fresh bark. The male guards her while she works. Each newly hatched larva bores deeper into the wood. The larva's tunneling through the wood leaves what look like pin holes in the timber, reducing the wood's usability once it is harvested. These tiny holes can be numerous and unsightly, making the wood a poor choice for flooring, furniture and other products, which lowers the lumber's grade and value.
The majority of this weevil's life is spent inside the tree. Adults tend to remain just under the bark, where they feast on fungi, sap, and other insects living in that layer of the trunk. Look for slender, black Oak Timberworm Weevils under the bark of oak trees or near gashes and cuts on the trunk. They are attracted to lights at night.
Scientific Name: Arrhenodes minutus
Size (Adult; Length): 7mm to 22mm (0.27in to 0.86in)
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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.