Wednesday, 16 February 2011

The Greater of All Weevils - July 2010

James McGill discovered some larvae in the rootstock of Purple Loosestrife plants that turned out to be the Weevil - Hylobius transversovittatus. This species used to be fairly common in Somerset when peat extraction was at its peak and Purple Loosestrife grew in profusion on the disturbed ground. Since peat digging has declined and the plant has similarly declined in abundance so the weevil became even more rare and hadn't been seen for years. As Somerset is the only area in the UK for this weevil, James was understandably excited. The adults are nocturnal, so armed with headtorches and in slight trepidation at our imminent arrest, we wandered along a remote drove out on the levels just before midnight. James discovered the first adult and after a while we both had discovered them. Since that first discovery, James has seen the signs of larval damage at a few more sites, so this wonderful beast is still hanging on in Somerset.

Hylobius transversovittatus

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