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Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Coleoptera
Family: Curculionidae
Subfamily: Curculioninae
About 30 tribes

The beetle subfamily Curculioninae is part of the weevil family Curculionidae. It contains over 23,500 described species in 2,200 genera, and is therefore the largest weevil subfamily known. Given that the beetle order (Coleoptera) contains about one-quarter of all known organisms, the Curculioninae represent one of the – if not the – most successful radiations of terrestrial Metazoa.[1]

Many weevils of this group are commonly known as flower weevils or acorn and nut weevils, after a food commonly eaten by Curculioninae larvae and imagines – the reproductive organs of plants.


This large subfamily is divided into around 30 tribes. Delimitation of the Curculioninae is fairly robust considering its enormous size; there is some dispute, however, in their exact boundary with the Molytinae. The Phrynixini and Trypetidini are also included in the Curculioninae by some authors, but more often they are considered Molytinae; conversely, the Itini are usually placed in the Curculioninae but sometimes in the Molytinae, which are also expanded by certain authors to include, among others, the whole Cryptorhynchinae. These, as well as the Ceutorhynchinae, are sometimes included in the Curculioninae as additional tribes Cryptorhynchini and Ceutorhynchini. And some genera while almost certainly Curculioninae, are too unusual and/or ancient to be easily assigned to a specific tribe.

Features used to distinguish some of the tribes are:

Pygidium exposed Acalyptini[2]
Foreleg femora with large triangular tooth Camarotini[3]
Tarsi with one claw (not two) Cryptoplini (including Haplonychini)
Mandibular (chewing) motion vertical (not horizontal) some Curculionini
Prothorax with lateral keels Derelomini[2]
Prothorax narrowed at base (ant mimic) Erodiscini[3]
Hindleg femora enlarged Eugnomini (with triangular tooth)
Rhamphini (swollen for jumping)
Tarsal claws fused at base Smicronychini[3]
Prosternum anterior to foreleg coxae has a groove into which the rostrum is tucked
(if groove continues posterior to coxae: Cryptorhynchinae)

List of tribes[edit]

The subfamily Curculioninae consists of the following tribes:[4]
Some notable genera are also listed.


  1. ^ Kuschel (1995)
  2. ^ a b Kojima & Morimoto (2005)
  3. ^ a b c Marvaldi & Lanteri (2005)
  4. ^ Bouchard P. et al. (2011) Family-group names in Coleoptera (Insecta). ZooKeys 88:1-972


  • Kuschel, G. (1995): A phylogenetic classification of Curculionoidea to families and subfamilies. In: Anderson, R.S. & Lyal, C.H.C. (eds.): Biology and Phylogeny of Curculionoidea. Memoirs of the Entomological Society of Washington 14: 5–33.
  • Marvaldi, A.E. & Lanteri, A.A. (2005): Key to higher taxa of South American weevils based on adult characters (Coleoptera, Curculionoidea). Revista Chilena de Historia Natural 78(1): 65–87 [English with Spanish abstract]. PDF fulltext
  • Kojima, H. & Morimoto, K. (2005): Weevils of the Tribe Acalyptini (Coleoptera: Curculionidae: Curculioninae): Redefinition and a taxonomic treatment of the Japanese, Korean and Taiwanese species. Esakia 45: 69–115. PDF fulltext

External links[edit]