Larinus planus

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Larinus planus
Larinus planus01.jpg
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Coleoptera
Family: Curculionidae
Subfamily: Lixinae
Genus: Larinus
Species: L. planus
Binomial name
Larinus planus
(Fabricius, 1792)

Larinus planus is a species of true weevil. It is used as an agent of biological pest control against the noxious weed Canada thistle (Cirsium arvense). The name has been recently changed to Larinus carlinae.

The adult weevil is dark brown or black with light colored mottled hairs on its body. It is about 7-8 millimeters long.

This weevil is native to Central and Eastern Europe. It was first accidentally introduced to the United States in the 1960s. The first published record is from Maryland in 1971.[1]

It was subsequently evaluated as a biocontrol agent in 1990 and redistributed across a wide range of the Great Plains and western States.[2]

In 2000, it was found feeding on Cirsium undulatum var. tracyi, a sparsely distributed thistle native to western Colorado and eastern Utah. Subsequent research determined that the weevil reduced seed production of the native thistle.[2]


  1. ^ White, J. C. 1972. A European weevil, Larinus carolinae Oliver, collected in Maryland. Cooperative Economic Insect Report 22:418.
  2. ^ a b Louda and O'Brien (2002). "Unexpected Ecological Effects of Distributing the exotic weevil Larinus planus (F.) for the Biological Control of Canada Thistle" (PDF). Conservation Biology. 
  • Coombs, E. M., et al., Eds. (2004). Biological Control of Invasive Plants in the United States. Corvallis: Oregon State University Press, 429.