Black vine weevil

Adult beetles notch leaf/flower edges. Soil-dwelling grubs hibernate feeding on roots - causing wilting and even plant death. Control with beneficial nematodes.

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  • Tiny eggs (0.8 mm), round and white - turn brown
  • Soil-dwelling C-shaped larvae (10 to 14mm when fully grown) are legless and cream-colour with shiny brown head and soft body
  • Adult beetles (8 to 12mm) with long, grooved, dull black shell - with patches of tiny yellow spots
  • Flightless beetles can walk and climb extremely well
  • Well camouflaged and nocturnal, beetles are rarely seen during daylight

Life cycle

  • Outdoors, on hatching in spring the adult Otiorhynchus sulcatus beetles (all female) feed for 10 days before laying up to 500 unfertilized eggs
  • Eggs hatch 8 to 20 days later
  • Small larvae (grubs) burrow deep into the growing media – where they hibernate, pupating in spring as temperatures rise
  • Adult beetles emerge 3 to 4 weeks later
  • In protected structures, life cycle is more rapid and different life stages can be present all year round

Damage caused

  • Distinctive notching to leaf and flower edges – is the calling card of these beetles
  • Soil-dwelling grubs cause most severe damage – attacking roots, tubers and rootstocks and can strip bark from woody stems
  • When damage is discovered, plants are often weakened, wilted and dying
  • Slow growing plants are particularly badly impacted


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