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Palmetto Weevil (Rhynchophorus cruentatus)


Detailing the physical features, habits, territorial reach and other identifying qualities of the Palmetto Weevil.




Look for the Palmetto Weevil where their favorite food grows: in lands where the palm trees sway.



 Updated: 5/21/2020; Authored By Staff Writer; Content ©www.InsectIdentification.org


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Coastal states in the U.S. Southeast and northeast Mexico are warm and humid enough to grow palms, so it follows that the Palmetto Weevil is found there as well. All Palmetto Weevils are not completely identical to each other. One popular color form is red with a black dots or line in the middle of the pronotum by the head, and five large black on the wing coverings. Another form is entirely black, and there are other individuals that fall somewhere between both variations. All have the long 'snout' and short, bent antennae that are typical of weevils. Their ‘snout’ is textured with tiny bumps. This is the biggest weevil found in North America and can grow just over 3 cm (just over an inch) long.

The young weevil, or grub, is destructive thanks to its feeding behavior. The plump, white, wormy grubs eat away at the crown of the palm which can cause it to fall off the tree. Cabbage palm and date palms appear to have broken their necks when this happens and the condition is called ‘popped neck’. Infestation of a palm may first be realized when young leaves start bending downward. It is difficult to treat a tree that is already infested, and it will likely die. In order to reduce a population, removing and destroying an affected tree right away kills eggs that were laid. Keeping palms healthy and quickly removing ones that are not, even if they are not noticeably infested, may help reduce the insect’s interest in the area
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General Characteristics
Capability, Shape, Texture/Pattern, Benefits, Dangers
Insect antennae icon
Patterned insect icon
Pest insect icon


Taxonomic Hierarchy
Species Breakdown
Kingdom: Animalia
  Phylum: Arthropoda
    Class: Insecta
      Order: Coleoptera
        Family: Curculionidae [ View More ]
          Genus: Rhynchophorus [ View More ]
            Species: cruentatus
Identifying Information
Size, Colors, Descriptors
Scientific Name: Rhynchophorus cruentatus
Category: Beetle
Size (Adult; Length): 19mm to 31mm (0.74in to 1.21in)
Colorwheel Graphic Colors: red; black
Descriptors: five black spots; 5 black dots; beak; snout; nose; long; short bent antennae; pest
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Relative Size Comparison
Lo: 19mm | Hi: 31mm
Territorial Reach (A-to-Z)
U.S., Canada, and Mexico
Alabama
Alaska
Arizona
Arkansas
California
Colorado
Connecticut
Delaware
Florida
Georgia
Hawaii
Idaho
Illinois
Indiana
Iowa
Kansas
Kentucky
Louisiana
Maine
Maryland
Massachusetts
Michigan
Minnesota
Mississippi
Missouri
Montana
Nebraska
Nevada
New Hampshire
New Jersey
New Mexico
New York
North Carolina
North Dakota
Ohio
Oklahoma
Oregon
Pennsylvania
Rhode Island
South Carolina
South Dakota
Tennessee
Texas
Utah
Vermont
Virginia
Washington
West Virginia
Wisconsin
Wyoming
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Alberta
British Columbia
Manitoba
New Brunswick
Newfoundland and Labrador
Nova Scotia
Ontario
Prince Edward Island
Quebec
Saskatchewan
Mexican National Flag Graphic
Mexico
Note: An insect's reach is not limited by lines drawn on a map and therefore species may appear in areas, regions and/or states beyond those listed above as they are driven by environmental factors (such as climate change), available food supplies and mating patterns.
Territorial Map
U.S., Canada, and Mexico
Alaska  
Hawaii  
Prince Edward Is.  
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Canadian territory of Saskatchewan graphic
Territory map graphic of the country of Mexico
Contiguous United States shape map layer graphic


Beetle Anatomy
Graphic showing basic anatomy of a common North American Beetle insect
1
Antennae: Beetles have a pair of antennae on the head used for sensing.
2
Head: The head is home to the insect's eyes, antennae, and mandibles (jaws).
3
Thorax: Holds the three pairs of legs as well as vital internal organs.
4
Elytron: One of two wing cases on a Beetle that protects its wings (plural: elytra).
5
Wings: Appendages used for flying and kept under the elytra until needed.
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Abdomen: Houses organs related to circulation, reproduction, and excretion.
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Legs: Beetles have three pairs of legs located at the thorax, numbering six legs in all.