Other Common Names
No accepted common name but it has been referred to as the "Evil Weevil" by bromeliad enthusiasts throughout Florida, as a result of the destruction it has caused to native populations of bromeliads in the southern portion of the state.
Adults are 11 to 16 mm (0.4 to 0.6 in.) long
As of December 2000, M. callizona was reported in 21 counties of southern Florida.
Described from Mexico and originally thought to range from Mexico to western Panama, although the report from Panama has been considered questionable.
In natural areas, the weevil primarily attacks T. utriculata, T. fasciculata, and Tillandsia paucifolia.
M. callizona, which was first encountered in Florida in 1989 at a Ft. Lauderdale (Broward County) bromeliad nursery, is thought to have entered the state in a shipment of bromeliads imported from Veracruz, Mexico. The nursery was treated, but within two months the weevil was found to be established in northern Broward County and southern Palm Beach County.
By 1991 the weevil was present in four counties in southern Florida, and by 1999 it was found in 12 additional counties.
As a direct result of attack by M. callizona, the Florida Endangered Plant Advisory Council has added two species of bromeliads (Tillandsia utriculata (L.) and Tillandsia fasciculata Swartz) to the list of endangered species under the 1998 Florida Administrative Code. Additionally, the weevil has entered the Everglades region, home of Florida's rarest populations of bromeliads.
Creel, O.R. 2000. The evil weevil: what will Florida lose? The Palmetto 19:10-11,14-16. http://fcbs.org/articles/weevil-creel.htm (5 June 2009).
Frank, J.H. 2000. Florida's native bromeliads imperiled by exotic evil weevil. The Palmetto 19: 6-9, 12.
Frank, J.H, & M.C. Thomas. 1994. Metamasius callizona (Chevrolat) (Coleoptera: Curculionidae), an immigrant pest, destroys bromeliads in Florida. Canadian Entomologist 126: 673-682.
Frank, J.H, & D. Fish. 2008. Potential biodiversity loss in Florida bromeliad phytotelmata due to Metamasius callizona (Coleoptera: Dryophthoridae), an invasive species. Florida Entomologist 91: 1-8.
O'Brien, C.W., M.C. Thomas & J.H. Frank. 1990. A new weevil pest of Tillandsia in south Florida. Journal of the Bromeliad Society 40: 203-205, 222.
Mexican bromeliad weevil
- Barbra Larson and J. Howard Frank, University of Florida