|This article is outdated. (December 2013)|
|True weevils and bark beetles|
|Some 20 subfamilies (but see text)|
Curculionidae is the family of the "true" weevils (or "snout beetles"). It is the third largest animal family, with over 40 000 species described worldwide. It is surpassed only by the Ichneumonidae (Hymenoptera), with over 60 000 species, and the Staphylinidae (Coleoptera), with 58 000 species.
It also includes the bark beetles as subfamily Scolytinae, which are modified[unreliable source?] in shape in accordance with their wood-boring lifestyle. They do not much resemble other weevils, so they were traditionally considered a distinct family, Scolytidae. The family also includes the ambrosia beetles, of which the present-day subfamily Platypodinae was formerly considered the distinct family Platypodidae.
They are recognized by their distinctive long snout and geniculate antennae with small clubs; beyond that, curculionids have considerable diversity of form and size, with adult lengths ranging from 1 to 40 millimetres (0.04 to 1.57 in).
Weevils are almost entirely plant feeders, and most species are associated with a narrow range of hosts, in many cases only living on a single species. With so many species to classify and over 400 genera, the taxonomy of this family is quite complicated, and authors disagree on the number and placement of various subfamilies, tribes and subtribes.
Phylogeny and systematics
The phylogeny of the group is complex; with 40 000 species there is a spirited debate about the relationships between subfamilies and genera. A 1997 analysis attempted to construct a phylogeny based mainly on larval characteristics.
Almost two dozen subfamilies are recognized by some authors even when merging those that are certainly invalid. Others, however, recognize a lesser number – the only subfamilies that are almost universally considered valid are the Baridinae, Cossoninae, Curculioninae, Cyclominae, Entiminae, Molytinae, Platypodinae and Scolytinae. The various proposed taxonomic schemes typically each usually recognize again as many additional subfamilies, but there is little agreement between authorities about which ones of those below these are. In particular the delimitation of the Molytinae has proven difficult.
The subfamilies considered valid by at least some authors today:
- Bagoinae (sometimes in Molytinae)
- Brachycerinae (disputed)
- Ceutorhynchinae (sometimes in Baridinae, Curculioninae or Molytinae)
- Conoderinae (sometimes in Baridinae)
- Cryptorhynchinae (sometimes in Curculioninae)
- Curculioninae – flower weevils, acorn and nut weevils
- Dryophthorinae (disputed)
- Entiminae – broad-nosed weevils
- Erirhininae (sometimes in Brachycerinae)
- Gonipterinae (sometimes in Curculioninae)
- Hyperinae (sometimes in Molytinae)
- Leptoniinae[verification needed] (disputed)
- Lixinae (sometimes in Molytinae)
- Mesoptiliinae (sometimes in Molytinae)
- Orobitidinae (sometimes in Baridinae)
- Platypodinae – typical ambrosia beetles
- Raymondionyminae (sometimes in Brachycerinae)
- Scolytinae – bark beetles
- Xiphaspidinae (sometimes in Baridinae)
- Adriana E. Marvaldi (1997). "Higher level phylogeny of Curculionidae (Coleoptera: Curculionoidea) based mainly on larval characters, with special reference to broad-nosed weevils" (PDF). Cladistics 13 (4): 285–312. doi:10.1111/j.1096-0031.1997.tb00321.x.
- Anthonomus eugenii, pepper weevil
- Cylas formicarius, sweetpotato weevil
- Chalcodermus aeneus, cowpea curculio
- Cosmopolites sordidus, banana root borer
- Eudociminus mannerheimii, cypress weevil
- Eurhinus magnificus
- Gerstaeckeria spp.
- Metamasius callizona, Mexican bromeliad weevil
- Metamasius hemipterus sericeus, silky cane weevil,
- Metamasius mosieri, Florida bromeliad weevil
- Naupactus (=Graphognathus) spp., whitefringed beetles
- Oxyops vitiosa, melaleuca weevil
- Pantomorus cervinus, Fuller rose weevil
- Pseudocneorhinus bifasciatus, twobanded Japanese weevil
- Rhynchophorus cruentatus, palmetto weevil
- Sphenophorus venatus, hunting billbug
Other University web pages on economically important curculids:
- Conotrachelus nenuphar, plum curculio from the Ohio State University
- Orchestes pallicornis, apple flea weevil from Michigan State University