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Rhynchophorus Herbst, 1795

Diagnosis: Large, 20-40 mm in total body length; elongate-oval in form, uniformly black; antennal funicle of 6 articles, apex extended well beyond posterior margin of eye; rostrum glabrous in female, in male with dorsal elongate patch of long, dark brown pilosity; anterior margin of pronotum straight behind eye; tarsus of 5 articles, but article 4 small, located at very base of article 3, article 3 wider than 2 and bilobed ventrally; front coxae separated; pygydium broadly exposed beyond elytra; metepisternum very broad, length about twice width; scutellum large with elongate apical extension.

Natural history: Adults of Rhynchophorus are associated with various palms (Aracaceae). Details of the biology and host plant associations are known for most species (Wattanapongsiri, 1966).

Diversity: Three species of Rhynchophorus are known from Central and South America. Only Rhynchophorus palmarum (Linnaeus) is found in Costa Rica and Panama.

Rhynchophorus palmarum (Linnaeus)

Distribution: Belize, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico, Nicaragua, Panama and United States; also in West Indies and South America.

Natural history: Adults lay eggs in the terminal tissues of various species of palms. After hatching, larvae tunnel downward until they reach the base of the trunk where they complete development. The complete life cycle requires 3-4 months. In many instances the weevils use the burrows of other palm feeding insects to gain access to the interior of the plant. They appear to prefer dying or weakened trees for oviposition and larval development. Rhynchophorus palmarum is a serious pest of coconut and other commercially important palms throughout Central and South America.


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