Field of Science

Magnificent Eurhins

Eurhinus festivus(?), copyright Andreas Kay.


Weevils are one of the most incredibly diverse of beetle groups, coming in an incredible array of shapes and structures, but they are not usually renowned for their bright colours. Nevertheless, in a group of this size, there is always scope for surprise: witness the image above. Eurhinus is a genus of absolutely stunning metallic-coloured weevils native to Central and South America; one species, E. magnificus, was first recorded in Florida in 2002 and has since become established there. The photo above was identified on Flickr as E. magnificus but looking over the descriptions in Casey (1922) I suspect it is more likely to be the closely related E. festivus. Eurhinus magnificus differs in having patches of red on the pronotum and elytral humeri (the 'shoulders'); see photos here, for instance.

Eurhinus species feed on vines of the Vitaceae, the grape family. Eggs are inserted into young stems where the larvae cause distinct galls as they develop. It does not look like they are known to cause significant damage to economically important species though studies on whether it can successfully attack grapes are inconclusive.

REFERENCE

Casey, T. L. 1922. Studies in the rhynchophorous subfamily Barinae of the Brazilian fauna. Memoirs on the Coleoptera 10: 1-520.

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