Cylas formicarius

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Author: Dr. D. L. Horton, University of Georgia, Department of Entomology

1435029
Taxonomy
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Hexapoda (including Insecta)
Order: Coleoptera
Family: Brentidae
Genus: Cylas
Species: C. formicarius
Scientific Name
Cylas formicarius
(Fabricius, 1798)
Scientific Name Synonym
Cylas elegantulus
(Summers)
Common Names

sweetpotato weevil

Contents

Overview

Origin
The origin of Cylas formicarius is not definitely known, but it is thought it may have originated in Africa or India.
Life Cycle
Adults are ant-like, shiny, blue-black, snout beetles whose "waist" and legs are bright orange-red. They are about 0.24 in. (6 mm) long. Larvae are legless, white to cream colored with a pale brown head. Larvae are about 0.35 in. (9 mm) long. Breeding is continuous throughout the winter, especially in potatoes in storage. Eggs are laid singly in small cavities eaten out in the stem or tuber. Eggs hatch in less than a week and larvae feed inside for two to three weeks. Pupation occurs in the potatoes. The pupal stage lasts about a week to 10 days. There can be as many as eight generations per year.
Distribution
Cylas formicarius is found throughout the coastal plain of the Southeast from North Carolina to Texas. It also is found in Hawaii and Puerto Rico, and widely around the world in tropical regions.
Control Efforts
Insecticides, cutural practices and biological controls are being used or researched for control of this pest.

Description

When this species was first discovered in the new world, it was thought to be a new species and was named Cylas formicarius elegantulus. Later research showed it was Cylas formicarius that had been introduced from the Old World. Adults are ant-like, shiny, blue-black, snout beetles whose "waist" and legs are bright orange-red. They are about 6 mm long. Larvae are legless, white to cream colored with a pale brown head. Larvae are about 9 mm long.

Hosts

Sweet potato, morning glory, and other plants of the same family.

Damage

Larvae cause damage by burrowing through the stem and roots. Even slightly infested sweet potatoes are unfit for food. Heavily infested tubers are unfit even for stock feed.

Life Cycle

Breeding is continuous throughout the winter, especially in potatoes in storage. Eggs are laid singly in small cavities eaten out in the stem or tuber. Eggs hatch in less than a week and larvae feed inside for two to three weeks. Pupation occurs in the potatoes. The pupal stage lasts about a week to 10 days. There can be as many as eight generations per year.

Originally compiled from

Sweetpotato Weevil, Cylas formicarius (Fabricius) (Coleoptera: Brentidae) [1]

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