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Species Coniatus splendidulus

Coniatus splendidulus Splendid Tamarisk Weevil Larvae - Coniatus splendidulus Anthonomus? - Coniatus splendidulus weevil - Coniatus splendidulus Green patterned weevil - Coniatus splendidulus Splendid tamarisk weevil? - Coniatus splendidulus Mitostylus? - Coniatus splendidulus Curculionid on Tamarix - Coniatus splendidulus
Classification
Kingdom Animalia (Animals)
Phylum Arthropoda (Arthropods)
Subphylum Hexapoda (Hexapods)
Class Insecta (Insects)
Order Coleoptera (Beetles)
Suborder Polyphaga (Water, Rove, Scarab, Long-horned, Leaf and Snout Beetles)
No Taxon (Series Cucujiformia)
Superfamily Curculionoidea (Snout and Bark Beetles)
Family Curculionidae (Snout and Bark Beetles)
Subfamily Hyperinae (Clover and Alfalfa Weevils)
Genus Coniatus
Species splendidulus (Coniatus splendidulus)
Other Common Names
Splendid Tamarisk Weevil
Synonyms and other taxonomic changes
Coniatus (Bagoides) splendidulus (Fabricius 1781)
Numbers
12 spp. In this genus, 2 adventitious to the US
Size
~3 mm
Identification
Range
sw US (CA-TX-CO-NV) (BG data), native to the Mediterranean, accidentally introduced into AZ in 2006 and apparently spread from that single introduction...
Habitat
Riparian Saltceder groves
Food
host: Tamarix (Tamaricaceae)
Life Cycle
"It is a very beautiful weevil with unusual biology, since all members of the subfamily have external larvae, which feed on the outside of the leaves. Most weevils have larvae inside the host plant or in the soil where they are protected from predators and parasites. These hyperine weevils pupate in an open silk cage on the outside of the leaf or stem of the host." Charlie O'Brien
Remarks
"A hyperine weevil which was under consideration for release as a biocontrol agent against tamarisk. However the release was not authorized due to conflict of interest between ranchers who want the tree controlled and the conservationists (in this case birders) who want to protect the preferred nesting site of the yellow bellied flycatcher. The USDA claims not to have released it from strict quarantine so it must have come in some other way. The tamarisk suck up the water to a great depth and kill off the other riparian trees, willow and cottonwoods for example, which are essential to the birds as they seek food among the latter. The problem is that the bird is endangered and prefers to nest in tamarisk which is not a natural community and which provides little food for the birds. It is a "Catch 22", but chance may have solved the dilemma." --C.W. O'Brien, pers. comm. to BV
Internet References
YouTube Video (21 mins) - TamariskCoalition