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Figwort Weevil

Cionus scrophulariae

Figwort Weevil

A close up of a Cionus scrophulariae Figwort Weevil
Cionus scrophulariae side by Siga (CC BY-SA 3.0)
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Figwort Weevil is native to Europe but ranges as far as North Africa and Asia. For the UK, they're common throughout England and Wales, although, sightings are rare in Scotland. Beetles can be seen on leaves and flowerheads throughout April to late autumn, favouring roadsides, parks, woodland borders and other shaded habitats. Common host plants include Phygelius, Buddleja globosa, Scrophularia and Verbascum. These weevils produce a sticky coating for its body that's distasteful to birds.

Traits

Damages the leaves and flowers of the host plants.

Appearance

Adult weevils are distinct from other native species. They possess a pale cream thorax, which encloses the head. The remainder of the body is a mixture of brown, grey and cream. Its legs are long and robust. The larvae have yellow-brown bodies with black heads and are around 6mm in length. The protective casing spun before the last stage of development, known otherwise a pupa, is brown and laid either on stems of host plants or within the flower heads.

Symptoms

Dried up foliage. Brown larvae on leaves that are almost 'slug-like'. Eaten leaves at the shoot tips.

Activity

Diurnal

Personality

Order

Coleoptera

Family

Curculionidae

Metamorphosis

Complete

Distribution

Widespread across Europe.

Biological treatment

These weevils are not of much concern in low numbers. It's not recommended to pick off figwort weevil from plants unless in very high abundance.

Chemical treatment

Organic contact insecticides applied gradually over time has been proven to be effective in controlling this pest.

Attracts

Cape Fuchsia

Phygelius spp.

Orange Ball Tree

Buddleja globosa

Scrophularia

Scrophularia spp.

A yellow Verbascum plant flowering in a garden

Mullein

Verbascum spp.

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