The Garden Guide

Book: The Principles of Landscape Gardening
Chapter: Chapter 1: Entomology as Applied to Gardens

Weevils (Curculio L.)

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1628. Various species of weevils (Curculio L.), most of them very small, do considerable injury; as all the species live, in their larva and pupa state, upon seeds and vegetables. The Balaninus nucum, or nut weevil (fig. 280. e e), is the insect produced by the grub (c, d) residing in the hazel nut. The female insect singles out a nut, which she pierces with her proboscis; and then, turning round, deposits an egg in the cavity: the nut, not apparently injured, continues to grow, and gradually ripens the kernel upon which the larva (d) feeds. The perfect insect (e) is of a brown colour, and measures near half an inch in length, including its slender rostrum. Two species of very small weevils (A'pion flavifomoratum and A. flavipes K.) devour the seeds of the purple and white clover. The corn weevil (Calandra granaria F.) is well known from its destructiveness to wheat; and there is also another species equally mischievous to that grain. Rhynchï¾µ'nus lapathi L. devours the wood of the willow; and the small knobs found at the roots of the turnip and cabbage are formed and inhabited by another small weevil (Nedyus contractus M.). But these injuries are trivial, when put in comparison with those produced on the young grafts of apple trees by one of the short-snouted weevils (Otiorhynchus vastator Marsh.), which sometimes destroys many hundreds in one night, particularly in the nurseries about London. This most pernicious insect is equally dreaded on the Continent, where it destroys the young vines, often killing them the first year; and is accounted so terrible an enemy to them, that not only the beetles, but their eggs, are diligently searched for, and destroyed: we are now aware that this pest has also found its way into our graperies. Balaninus glandium does much injury to acorns, which it perforates and devours, when in the larva state, like the nut weevils.