The yellowish weevil is no longer than an ant. It was first discovered in 1922 in Brazil, and named by an Irishman. Thomas Lincoln Casey, Jr., an entomologist at New York's Museum of Natural History thought that, because there was not a Latin name or Brazilian name associated with this weevil, it was probably named Zyzzyva as a practical joke to place it in a prominent ending position in many guides and manuals.
Thomas Casey describes Zyzzyva ochreotecta in his book Memoirs on the Coleoptera, Volume 10:
Rather broadly oblong-oval, convex, densely clothed with scales, orchreous and very uniform above, completely concealing the sculpture. Beak scarcely longer than the prothorax, thick, distincly [sic?] acurate, compressed basally, finely, closely punctate, longitudinally furrowed and carinate above. Antennae obscure rufous; prothorax two-fifths wider than long, the sides parallel and nearly straight in basal two-fifths, thence oblique and nearly straight to the apex, which is truncate and much less than half as wide as the base; parallel scales dense and directed longitudinally in great part; elytra a third longer than wide, a fifth or sixth wider than the prothorax and nearly two and one-half times as long, the sides parallel, broadly, circularly rounded in apical third, the sutural angle not reentrant; pygidium closely but not densely clothed with slender and suberect pale squamules; under surface without sexual mark, the first ventral suture fine but very throughout, the others coarse, the fourth not reflexed at the sides. It has a length of 4.3mm and a width of 2.0mm.
Nothing else known at present approaches this genus closely in general habitus, except the next [Polpones] in some features.
He collected only one specimen.
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- Doug Storer (Apr 24, 1981). "Amazing But True". The Evening Independent.
- Thomas Casey Jr. (1922). Memoirs on the Coleoptera 10. p. 370.
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