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Botany Bay Weevil

Chrysolopus spectabilis

Description:

This is a very attractive 25 mm long weevil with dark head, thorax and elytra. Both elytra and thorax showed shallow pitting -on the elytra the pitting was slightly hexagonal in shape whereas on the thorax it was irregular (pic 4). Some of the pits were covered by dense short pale setae which appeared to be iridescent (pic 4). This gave the beetle a beautiful blue-green colour. Strangely, the colouring was more vivid in shade. The underside of the beetle also had setae which reflected similar colours.

Habitat:

Spotted on an acacia in a national park

Notes:

We spotted three of these in the same area, two of which were on the same shrub.
The larvae of these weevils feed on acacia root while the adults feed on foliage.
The beetle is so named because it was collected at Botany Bay (Sydney) during Cook's voyage to Australia. It also happens to be one of the first Australian insects (collected in 1770) to be described scientifically.
Family: Curculionidae

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14 Comments

134330
134330 5 years ago

Great picture! What an amazing insect

Very nice series Leuba,congrats and thanks for sharing

Mark Ridgway
Mark Ridgway 5 years ago

Interesting info thanks Vinny. I must have a good read about it. I'm getting the impression most of our local acacia are non-endemics.

Vinny
Vinny 5 years ago

Both species of Acacia appear to be a long way from home, suggesting your Weevil is like you say, not to fussy. Nice one :)

Leuba Ridgway
Leuba Ridgway 5 years ago

Thanks Vinny, I think the two weevils I saw were on Acacia cognata - very soft and feathery - could not capture it very well in the photos. I don't believe these weevils are fussy about the type of acacia. The third one we saw was on Acacia pulchella (Prickly Moses).

Vinny
Vinny 5 years ago

Amazing info Leuba. Not sure if they prefer particular Acacia's but the one pictured looks like A. leprosa.

Leuba Ridgway
Leuba Ridgway 5 years ago

Thanks everyone. Very exciting find for me. I love their faces.

beaker98
beaker98 5 years ago

Awesome series Leuba! I absolutely love weevils and don't feel they get the credit deserved in the beetle world.

CalebSteindel
CalebSteindel 5 years ago

beautiful specimen!

sarahaw1981
sarahaw1981 5 years ago

I never actually thought of Weevils as Beetles! You learn a little every day :-) wonderful pictures!

Leuba Ridgway
Leuba Ridgway 5 years ago

Martin, blue specks against dark foliage - sounds like it would work and might be the plan !

Mark Ridgway
Mark Ridgway 5 years ago

Let us know how it goes please Martin. (and I thought it was mould)

MartinL
MartinL 5 years ago

And a very complete description too, as always.
I sometimes see them in numbers at higher altitudes.
I wonder the benefits of speckled elytra and ponder how they might look through the foliage of black wattle with only small spots of blue sky visible. Hmmm... might work.

Mark Ridgway
Mark Ridgway 5 years ago

Very complete series.

Leuba Ridgway
Spotted by
Leuba Ridgway

Victoria, Australia

Spotted on Jan 19, 2015
Submitted on Jan 19, 2015

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