Friday, 23 October 2015

Day 343 - Brilliantly Black Vine Weevils

Black Vine Weevil (Otiorhynchus sulcatus)
Hey everyone today's Day 343 and I was recently out walking Esme. We've generally been taking her out to Silton Forest or the reservoir near Osmotherley while the nights are still light. There's quite a few ducks and geese at the reservoir at the moment but mainly Greylags and Mallards. I'm glad its half term as I can get out and do some proper birdwatching and nature hunting.  The bugs are not out and about much at the Forest much now it's getting colder, but the leaves and fungi are making up for that. As the bugs are not out and about much I was quite surprised to see this little critter climbing up the door frame of our house when we got back from a walk.  I really like them but have already done a post on their species in general. Today's post is about Vine Weevils.

So, here are the facts:
  • Something I realised very quickly when I was researching these little creatures was that all the websites listed them as a 'garden pest' and rather than giving facts about them, it was about killing them.
  • They are also known as the Black Vine Weevil for obvious reasons...
    End of October and it was climbing up our door frame
  • ...These reasons include their colouring but (even though their name says so) there's nothing to do with vines that I can find.
  • Back to their colouring, they are matt black. They also have fused wing covers meaning they cannot fly.
  • They are very small, well Weevils are, aren't they... They have been recorded as 9mm long on average.
  • The adults like to feed (at night) on the outer-edges of leaves and also the roots which causes death to a lot of the plants.
  • They seem to go after plants that are grown in containers so make sure to protect your plants, they are a beautiful bug though and we shouldn't hate them.
  • A humane way to protect your plants is to manually remove each bug at night time where they can be found feeding on the leaves but you have to use a dim torch as they are startled by bright light and will drop to the ground and scurry away.
    Tricky to photo in the dark but got a good bugs eye view!
  • When I say protect, I don't mean all of them. Just the ones that they like. They particularly like soft fruits such as Strawberries and Raspberries.
  • Females can reproduce Parthenogenetically. This is a rather long word and means only Females reproduce without Males. Basically, Males aren't needed...
  • ...More on their lifecycle, after their larvae have become adults, they emerge between Spring and early Summer when a feeding frenzy begins. They then lay more eggs on a plant.
  • Once the eggs have hatched, the larvae bury underground towards their root foods, they them moult several times over-winter before pupating at the start of Spring. The cycle restarts.
Here are some links to some more information:

Hope you enjoyed,