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Acorn Weevil (Conotrachelus posticatus)

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

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The nut-loving Acorn Weevil efficiently uses acorns that it collects: as larvae, acorns are food, and as adults, acorns are a secret nursery.

Updated: 01/02/2022; Authored By Staff Writer; Content ©www.InsectIdentification.org
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 captured and kept by a variety of Weevil Wasps to eventually be eaten alive by hatching wasp larvae.©InsectIdentification.org

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General Characteristics

Capability, Shape, Texture/Pattern, Benefits, Dangers
Flying insect icon
Hairy insect icon

Taxonomic Hierarchy

Species Breakdown
Kingdom: Animalia
  Phylum: Arthropoda
    Class: Insecta
      Order: Coleoptera
        Family: Curculionidae
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          Genus: Conotrachelus
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            Species: posticatus

Identifying Information

Size, Colors, Features
Scientific Name: Conotrachelus posticatus
Other Name(s): Nut Weevil
Category: Beetle
Size (Adult; Length): 4mm to 10mm (0.15" to 0.39")
Colorwheel Graphic Colors: brown; black
Descriptors: snout; trunk; nose; hairy; fuzzy; flying

Relative Size Comparison

Typical Size Between 4mm (0.2in) and 10mm (0.4in)
Lo: 4mm
Md: 7mm
Hi: 10mm

Territorial Map*

U.S., Canada, and Mexico
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Prince Edward Is.  
* MAP NOTES: The territorial heat map above showcases (in red) the states and territories of North America where the Acorn Weevil may be found (but is not limited to). This sort of data is useful when attempting to see concentrations of particular species across the continent as well as revealing possible migratory patterns over a species' given lifespan. Some insects are naturally confined by environment, weather, mating habits, food resources and the like while others see widespread expansion across most, or all, of North America. States/Territories shown above are a general indicator of areas inhabited by the Acorn Weevil. Insects generally go where they please, typically driven by diet, environmental changes, and / or mating habits.

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