Oak Timberworm Weevil (Arrhenodes minutus)
Detailing the identifying qualities of the Oak Timberworm Weevil, including physical features and territorial reach.
Updated: 6/13/2017; Authored By Staff Writer; Content ©www.InsectIdentification.org
A long beak, narrow body and clean antennae set the Oak Timberworm Weevil apart from others, but it can be just as bothersome.
The Oak Timberworm Weevil females lays fertilized eggs on the bark of oak trees in injured areas then pushes the eggs inside and covers them with frass (feces and wood shavings) . This saves some time and effort on behalf of the female in creating an opening for the egg. If no injured areas are available, she uses her long beak to break into the bark to create an opening. Unlike most beetles, the female Oak Timberworm Beetle consistently clears her antennae of wood debris while she bores into fresh bark. The male will guard her while she works. The newly hatched larva begins to bore into the wood, eating it as they go. The larva's tunneling through the wood damages the usability of the oak once it's harvested, leaving what look like pin holes in the timber. These markings are numerous and unsightly, making the wood a poor choice for flooring, furniture and other products, which lowers its 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 them under the bark of oak trees or near them. They are attracted to lights at night.