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Red palm weevil

The impressive red palm weevil Rhynchophorus ferrugineus has spread in a large part of the Middle East and almost the whole Mediterranean area. As the name of this species indicates, the red palm weevil can cause severe damage to certain palm tree species such as Phoenix. Fortunately, biological control can help you out!

What damage can the red palm weevil cause?

  • Adults cause feeding damage to the leaves but the larvae cause the most important damage as they spend their whole lives in the trunk.
  • The first signs are hard to recognise in an early stage.
  • The crown and trunk show boreholes with a brown, viscous liquid and chewed fibres coming out.
  • Inside the tree rotting occurs. The leaves turn yellow and wilt.
  • By the time the damage is visible, the palm tree is already severely damaged and dies.

How to control the red palm weevil?

To monitor the red palm weevil, you can use Biobest’s Picusan® Trap. For biological control of this species, you can rely on Palma-Life.

What are the characteristics of the red palm weevil?

  • The eggs in the crown of the palm tree are cream-coloured, elongated and about 3 mm long.
  • Full-grown larvae in the trunk are 5 cm long, cone-shaped, cream-coloured and have no legs.
  • The adults are 2 to 5 cm and have a reddish brown colour with black spots.
  • Their wings are dark red with long vertical grooves.
  • Their head and snout take up 1/3 of their total length.
  • Male weevils have small, brown hairs on their snout.

What about the red palm weevil’s life cycle?

  • A female deposits about 300 eggs to the base of the palm tree.
  • Red palm weevil have several development stages: egg, 3 to 7 larval stages, pupa and adult.
  • The larvae hatch after 2 to 5 days and bore into the trunk to feed on palm tissue. The larval stage lasts 1 to 3 weeks.
  • The larvae make an oval-shaped cocoon of on average 6 cm out of palm fibres.
  • The pupal stage takes 2 to 3 weeks. They are about 3.5 cm and have a pale brown colour.
  • Each stage can be found inside the palm tree.

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