Yet another amazing specimen collected on the California Academy of Sciences Hearst Expedition to the Philippines, this weevil in the family Curculionidae proves that even cryptic insects can be structurally fascinating and dare I say adorable upon closer inspection!
I love weevils for many reasons: their big beady eyes, slothlike movements, and gonzo-esque noses…or “rostrums” if you’re fancy. But weevils (commonly known as snout beetles), also belong to one of the largest animal families known, with roughly 40,000 species described. That means that there are four times more weevil species than bird species and nearly eight times as many as mammals! It’s no wonder Entomologists have to specialize!
This is a particularly strange looking weevil belonging to the subfamily Dryopthoridae, genus Zetheus. All true weevils use those long snouts to drill deep into plants and/or seeds, where they deposit their eggs in a relatively safe and protected environment. This ability is thought to be a big part of their success on the planet, so capital strategy little chap, capital!!!