Rhynchites caemleus Degeer Apple twig cutter

This weevil is a locally common pest of apple; infestations sometimes also occur on other fruit trees. Adults cause damage, usually in June. They sever the tips of young shoots which then either fall to the ground or keel over and wither whilst remaining temporarily suspended by a piece of rind. Damage to young trees is sometimes severe but attacks on established trees are of little or no significance.

BIOLOGY

Adults occur from May onwards and are especially active in warm, sunny weather when they fed on the foliage of apple trees and other hosts. Eggs are deposited in early June, each inserted in a young vegetative shoot, a few centimetres from the tip. The egg-laying female then severs the shoot just below the point of oviposition. Larvae feed within the shoots for up to 4 weeks and then escape to pupate, each in a small cell formed a few centimetres below the surface of the soil. New adults appear towards the end of the summer and eventually hibernate.

DESCRIPTION

Adult 2.5-4.5 mm long, relatively broad-bodied and shiny metallic blue, clothed with black hairs. Egg oval and translucent. Larva 34 mm long; body whitish; head brownish.

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