Saturday, May 9, 2009

Mating Weevils

Oh, geez, not another photo of a flowering plant!? Don't you have a separate blog for that?

If that's what you say when you see this photo, let me tell you, there is a lot more going on than first meets the eye. After all, flowers attract all sorts of pollinators--beautiful butterflies, zooming bees, fluttering hummingbirds. They also attract some rather odd-looking creatures. Just take a look at the photo below.

Nearly hidden on the leaves of this milkvetch are a couple weevils. Weevils can be identified by their long noses, and in fact are sometimes nicknamed snout beetles. There are over 60,000 described weevil species, and I'm sorry to say I don't know what these are. (But I want to, so if you recognize them please leave a comment!) 

But after having a job for many years that paid me to talk to people, I'm sure I can tell you something about these weevils. Like, they're mating. Yep, you are watching some weevils in action. 

I can also tell you that the first thing to distinguish weevils is by looking at their antennae--if they're straight, they are primitive weevils, and if they're bent, they are true weevils. Of course, the weevils' antennae aren't too obvious in this photo, and I didn't want to disturb them. 

Lots of weevils are pests, like the boll weevil that destroys cotton crops. I'm sure many of them have important niches in the environment. And last but not least, they can provide a couple minutes of distraction.

1 comment:

Desert Survivor said...

My husband was slightly grossed out by this post and said it's no wonder that no one wants to comment!

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