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Large Cactus Weevil - Cactophagus spinolae

Large Cactus Weevil - Cactophagus spinolae
Rancho Santa Fe, San Diego County, California, USA
September 2, 1973
Size: 27mm including snout
From my old notes: "I found this large black snout beetle on a big clump of prickly-pear cactus, Opuntia littoralis, growing in the San Dieguito River bed basin - about one mile up-stream from Wispering Pines Golf Course (now called Morgan Run). There was more than one beetle. they were able to walk on the smooth surface of the cactus pads, as well as the glass wall inside a jar. Later on in the season they were not to be found. But the following year, in September, they were found again on the same cactus clump."

Images of this individual: tag all
Large Cactus Weevil - Cactophagus spinolae Large Cactus Weevil - Cactophagus spinolae Large Cactus Weevil - Cactophagus spinolae Large Cactus Weevil - Cactophagus spinolae

Hello Jim. Is this upstream from what is now called Morgan Run? I would be interested in finding out if this population persists in the area. Let me know if you would be interested in discussing here or offline.

Hi Jay,
I am including, just below, a Google maps url that centers fairly closely where his big cactus weevil was found. This was of course many years ago. A few years afterwards Lake Hodges overflowed the dam big time for the first time in many years. The result was that years of vegetation growth, along a wide area, was washed away by the flood waters. The soil in the river bed in this area was of a sandy type. I am not certain that the area where this weevil was found was washed away. There were other prickly-pear cactus patches in the area. Also there was 3 or 4 species of cactus, including prickly-pear, growing up on he steep hillside that parallels the river bed at this location. The Data tab info suggests July through September for finding this species.

Here is the URL:,-117.1881618,17z/data=!3m1!1e3. The sort of half moon shape with less vegetation is the the general area. I use to walk to this location from where I lived; but you may have to figure out how to access the area now due to all the homes, etc., that have been built since then. One access is off the bottom of El Zumaque/Artesion road, to the east a bit, which drops down to the river bed.

Also found on that cactus clump was this Cactus Coreid: (1).

Best of of hunting to you!


Thank you Jim
I JUST noticed that you had replied to me back in July but I did not see your reply until now. I appreciate the detail and may try to get out there very soon to at least see if the cacti are still present, if it is maybe late in the season for the beetles.

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