Philopedon plagiatus Schaller Sand weevil

Adults of this widespread but locally distributed weevil are most numerous in sandy districts. They feed on the leaves of various plants and sometimes cause minor damage to sugar beet and other crops, biting out large semicircular notches in the margins of cotyledons and leaves. The weevils also sever the stems of young plants at or about soil level. Attacks, which may also occur on carrot and other crops, are of greatest significance when plants are at the early seedling stage. The larvae, which feed on plant roots, are of no economic importance. In the British Isles, attacks occur mainly in the Brecklands of Norfolk and Suffolk.

BIOLOGY

Adults overwinter in the soil. They emerge in April and immediately begin to feed on host plants. Eggs are deposited in the soil, usually from late May to mid-June. Larvae feed from June or July onwards, attacking the roots of Carduus, Cirsium, grasses and various other plants; development is slow and larvae become fully grown late in the following year.

DESCRIPTION

Adult 4-8 mm long, oval, stout-bodied, with protruding eyes and relatively thick legs; body black, but thickly clothed in brownish to brownish-grey scales; elytra with light and dark scales, which give a longitudinally striped pattern (Plate 6a), and clothed with short upright hairs; antennae reddish. Larva up to 8 mm long; body white; head light brown.

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