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Photo#182881
LRGV Palmetto Weevil, side view - Rhynchophorus cruentatus - male

LRGV Palmetto Weevil, side view - Rhynchophorus cruentatus - Male
World Birding Center HQ at Bentsen-Rio Grande Valley State Park, Hidalgo County, Texas, USA
April 24, 2008
I was preparing for the night program one evening when I came across this beast. It was on a stump where we usually put butterfly bait; no bait was there that day, or had been for several days previous, but the critter did return the following day when bait was offered there.

Several other images on the Guide of this species are from Florida, one from Georgia, but this is the first from Texas. There seems to be some debate over how far it ranges as a native species, hosted by Sabal palmetto and perhaps S. minor, but the LRGV population clearly seems to be introduced. The species has been observed several times over the past 25 years or so in McAllen and Brownsville in association with exotic palms, many of which were imported from nurseries in Florida. Whether or not this weevil uses the LRGV's one native palm, S. texana, remains unknown.

Images of this individual: tag all
LRGV Palmetto Weevil, dorsal view - Rhynchophorus cruentatus - male LRGV Palmetto Weevil, front view - Rhynchophorus cruentatus - male LRGV Palmetto Weevil, side view - Rhynchophorus cruentatus - male