Insect identification > Coleoptera > Rhynchophora > Strawberry root weevil

Strawberry root weevil

The strawberry root weevil (Brachyrhinus ovatus L.). - This insect, often also called the strawberry crown girdler, occurs in both Europe and this country where it is widely distributed. The adult beetle is about a quarter of an inch long, almost black, stout, the elytra with parallel longitudinal grooves in which are indentations. The elytra are grown together so the insect cannot fly.

The beetles live about a year and pass the winter both as adults and larvae. The overwintered adults appear early in spring and lay eggs. The overwintered larvae resume their feeding in spring, eating the strawberry roots and doing their greatest injury at this time.

When full grown they pupate and the adults from these pupae appear by midsummer. These lay their eggs and the larvae feed until fall, then hibernate during the winter. It is probable that the eggs laid early by wintered-over adults reach the adult stage themselves before winter, thus becoming those which winter over as adults and which probably lay some eggs that fall before hibernating. In the North there seems to be only one generation a year, but in the South it is possible that there are two.

The injury to strawberry plants by these insects is very great and they also attack the roots of small evergreen seedlings in nurseries and when abundant will destroy great numbers of them. The larvae feed on the roots of the strawberry, seedling conifers, red clover and various other plants, and there are usually many larvae around each plant. In addition, strawberry plants may be girdled just above the surface of the ground. A curious fact about this insect is that thus far no males have been found.