Small Spruce Weevil

2013 April 3

I found this little weevil (about 5 mm long) on the wall of our old house on June 3, 2012.

Weevils are hard for me to identify, because there are so very, very many of them [1]. I was saved by Blaine Mathison, who suggested that it was Pissodes rotundatus, the Small Spruce Weevil.

Other than notes that they are “associated with conifers” (suggesting that this one came from the clump of spruce trees in our yard), I’m not finding much of anything about these weevils, suggesting that they aren’t particular pests. Although I expect that they are something that might be brought into the house on Christmas trees.

It’s kind of a handsome weevil in its long-snouted sort of way. In general, it sounds like weevils both use their long snouts to reach into narrow places for food, and for drilling holes in plants where they can lay their eggs.

[1] Moths were hard, too, until I got copies of three very comprehensive guides: Peterson Field Guide to Moths of Northeastern North America (Peterson Field Guides), Caterpillars of Eastern North America, and Owlet Caterpillars of Eastern North America . I need to see whether I can find anything that deals with beetles at anything like that level of detail.

It occurs to me that if I had started photographing and posting insects even ten years ago, it would have been immensely more difficult, between the expense and difficulty of using film for photographs, and the tremendous amount of legwork that would have been needed to make even tentative IDs. Practically all of the books that I find most useful hadn’t even been published yet ten years ago. And the online resources like BugGuide either didn’t exist or were extremely rudimentary at that time.

2 Responses
  1. April 3, 2013

    I just have to say I ALWAYS appreciate photos of weevils. I think they’re adorable. They look so humble and sweet and slightly goofy. *sigh* Thanks!

  2. April 3, 2013

    They’re usually pretty cooperative photographic subjects, too. They tend to stay still for photographs provided they are standing on a moderately rough surface. For some reason, insects in general seem to be more willing to stand still on rough or 3-dimensional surfaces than on smooth surfaces.

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