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Clay-colored Billbug (Sphenophorus dicolor)


Detailing the physical features, habits, territorial reach and other identifying qualities of the Clay-colored Billbug



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Image Credit: Ian B. from Sacramento, CA
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Two-toned Clay-colored Billbugs have a nose for young corn plants, but cattails will do just fine.



Updated: 01/26/2021; Authored By Staff Writer; Content ©www.InsectIdentification.org
The Clay-colored Billbug is a type of beetle in the Weevil family. The long, duck-like snout and elbow-jointed antennae are commonly seen in many Weevil species. This particular species is a dark brown to auburn color with tan stripes on the abdomen as well as the pronotum.

They feed on bulrushes and reeds, typically found in wet natural areas. If corn fields are nearby, they will also feed on the stems of young corn plants, making them an agricultural pest across the continent. Jaws at the end of the long snout enable the Billbug to eat inner plant tissue. While their feeding activity may not kill the young plant, it can damage it enough to stunt growth and reduce the size of the ears of corn produced. Crop rotation, early planting, and decoy plants are helpful strategies used to minimize impact.




General Characteristics
Capability, Shape, Texture/Pattern, Benefits, Dangers
Flying insect icon
Harmful insect icon
Striped or banded insect icon




Taxonomic Hierarchy
Species Breakdown
Kingdom: Animalia
  Phylum: Arthropoda
    Class: Insecta
      Order: Coleoptera
        Family: Curculionidae
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          Genus: Sphenophorus
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            Species: dicolor
Identifying Information
Size, Colors, Features
Scientific Name: Sphenophorus dicolor
Category: Beetle
Size (Adult; Length): 8mm to 13mm (0.31" to 0.51")
Colorwheel Graphic Colors: brown, tan
Descriptors: snout, nose, striped, corn, flying, harmful
Relative Size Comparison
Typical Range Between 8mm and 13mm
Lo: 8mm
Md: 10.5mm
Hi: 13mm
Territorial Map*
U.S., Canada, and Mexico
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Territory map graphic of the country of Mexico
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Alaska  
Hawaii  
Prince Edward Is.  
* MAP NOTES: The territorial heat map above showcases (in red) the states and territories of North America where the Clay-colored Billbug 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 Clay-colored Billbug. Insects generally go where they please, typically driven by diet, environmental changes, and / or mating habits.

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