Red-Spotted Lily Weevil

Brachycerus ornatus

Red-Spotted Lily Weevil

Curculionidae - Brachycerus ornatus by Hectonichus (CC BY-SA 3.0)
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A close up photograph of a brachycerous ornatus red lily weevil against a cream coloured background
A Red-Spotted Lily Weevil is a species of beetle belonging to the family of True Weevils (Curculionidae). They're pretty big for a weevil, measuring as large as 4.5cm in some cases! They feed on the foliage of the notoriously poisonous and native Karoo Lily (Ammocharis coranica). They are highly attracted to clay soils, so are most likely to be prominent in habitats with a terrain of this type.

Traits

This species attacks Karoo Lily (Ammocharis coranica).

Appearance

Adults are giant weevils (as large as 4.5cm!). They're distinctively marked and shaped. Most of the body is black, but the elytra (wing casings) and pronotum display irregular bloody-red mottling, or spots. Markings can sometimes vary between individuals. There's currently no description of larvae or eggs.

Symptoms

If insects attack the plant stalks it can cause overall die back. Insects can attack the buds and flowers, attacking the buds can sometimes prevent the flower from opening. Weevils may feed on the berries of coffee plants. Feeding can result in premature fruit drops. Damage to foliage can impede effective photosynthesis. Weevil larvae who attack the roots as larvae can rapidly impact the vigour of plants.

Activity

Nocturnal

Personality

Order

Coleoptera

Family

Curculionidae

Metamorphosis

Complete

Distribution

Widespread across South Africa.

Biological treatment

Unfortunately, few treatments can eliminate this pest because they burrow within the roots of host plants. It's important to note that Weevils are nocturnal, so you're not going to catch them in the daytime. If you suspect a possible infestation, or, come to find your garden plants have been attacked, but there is no sign of any culprit, you may want to attempt a few evening torch checks. Check on and under the leaves and fruits of plants. It's thought that good housekeeping, such as practising: mulching, re-hilling, field sanitation, crop rotation and using clean planting material, can significantly reduce the severity of an infestation. Pheromone traps can be used to monitor pest populations in the garden. Likewise, Diatomaceous earth dusted over leaves and around the bases of plants can kill Weevils. Be careful during application, as this stuff is nasty if inhaled and can be extremely irritable when in contact with the eyes. If available, beneficial nematodes can be bought online and watered around desired plants. This can be effective for up to 4 months and will eradicate any grubs hiding in the soil.

Chemical treatment

A neonicotinoid drench can be used if you are certain of a weevil infestation and it's considered severe. Please take care to read instructions and if you intend to eat your crop, make sure the food is listed on the bottle. If you ever feel unsure, you can consult with your local gardening centre or ask the Candide community for assistance!

Attracts

These weevils will feed Karoo Lilies.

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