adambates's picture

Weevil on Silene vulgaris

Observed: 2nd June 2009 By: adambates
OPAL Community Scientist
Invertebrates expert
watsonroofmainlyearlyjune 150
watsonroofmainlyearlyjune 140
watsonroofmainlyearlyjune 145
Description:

Irredescent green weevil on unopened Silene vulgaris (Bladder Campion) flower.

Identifications
Species interactions

No interactions present.

Comments

Rose's picture

Nice weevil

Hi Adam, it could be a nettle weevil (Phyllobius pomaceus) - There are several species of small (6 - 8mm) metallic green weevil served by the common name nettle weevil. They are very similar and they cannot be separated by the naked eye. The adults of these weevils feed on the leaves of various plants. Many of these are common in gardens and can often be found perched on the leaves of plants and shrubs, including nettles. Rose.

Rose

adambates's picture

Thanks

Thanks Rose, that's very helpful. I am guessing that P. pomaceus is the species usually encountered then?

Adam

OPAL West Midlands web page: http://www.opalwestmidlands.org/

Stacey Cougill's picture

Thanks

Thanks for posting this identification and description. It helped me identify the nettle weevil that accidentally found itself in my office last week. All my colleagues now know what a nettle weevil looks like and it was safely returned to the nearby park, from where it probably came!

iSpot Biodiversity Mentor - London

Rose's picture

Weevil Identification continued

Hi Adam, as far as I understand it yes P. pomaceus is usually encountered. Also another ID ‘tip' I read about was that the scales on this species rub off on the older specimens and they may be bald and black. However I am not sure about the ethics or rubbing weevils' scales for ID purposes!
There is also P. formosus that looks very similar but is very shiny and found on deciduous trees, especially birch.
Glad to help bluebell100, I am happy all your colleges are up to speed in weevil identification and that the one in questions is safe and back in his preferred habitat!
Rose.

Rose

Martin Harvey's picture

green weevils

These bright green weevils are great to see, but not easy to identify! There are metallic green weevils in (at least) two genera, Phyllobius and Polydrusus, and in each genus there are several species to choose from. I think this is one of the Polydrusus weevils, and it looks very like the common Polydrusus pterygomalis, but I can't be certain of the species from these photos.

There's some more information on these two genera on the Watford Coleoptera Group site:
http://www.thewcg.org.uk/idaids/Roboretanusvirideaeris.htm

Good photos of some of the species in each genus can be seen here (scroll down the alphebetical list to find Phyllobius and Polydrusus):
http://www.kerbtier.de/cgi-bin/enFSearch.cgi?Fam=Curculionidae

P.S. although it is true that the scales can rub off and you need to be aware of this when trying to identify dark-looking weevils (i.e. they may be bald green weevils!), but as far as I know any weevil that has scales is liable to lose them, so this is not really an identification feature for any of the green weevils.

----
Entomologist and biological recorder