12 September 2016

Photograph showing the larval stage of the Red Palm Weevil (Rhynchophorus ferrugineus)

The larval stage of the Red Palm Weevil (Rhynchophorus ferrugineus) can be seen on the lawn

The photograph above was taken in Haifa, Israel.  Evidence of the the larval stage of the Red Palm Weevil  (Rhynchophorus ferrugineus) can be seen scattered on the lawn and within the dark rotted areas at the base of the palm fronds.  Unfortunately, this particular palm had succumbed to the infestation and had died.  The life cycle of the Red Palm Weevil consists of eggs, larval stage, pupa stage followed by metamorphosis and turning into adult insects.

I first wrote about the Red Palm Weevil back in October 2013 here is a link to that initial blog post  In my blog post dating from October 2013, I had contacted scientists carrying out research at University of California, Riverside, Center for Invasive Species Research (CISR).  Three authors were responsible for this research and I managed to obtain permission from one of the authors namely, Dr Mark S. Hoddle, Director of Center for Invasive Species Research, Extension Specialist, Department of Entomology to include their research in my blog.

The Red Palm Weevil is spreading across the world at an alarming rate destroying not only the urban and rural landscape but also wrecking livelihoods dependent on harvesting the fruits of the date palm Phoenix dactylifera. To my knowledge the Red Palm Weevil also attacks Phoenix canariensis.  According to Wikipedia, "the native range of the Red Palm Weevil is considered to include Bangladesh, Cambodia, China, India, Indonesia, Japan, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, Pakistan, Philippines, Sri Lanka, Taiwan, Thailand, and Vietnam; it has now been reported and confirmed from Albania, Algeria, Aruba, Bahrain, Croatia, Curaçao, Cyprus, Egypt, France, Greece, Israel, Italy, Kuwait, Libya, Malta, Monaco, Montenegro, Morocco, Oman, Portugal (incl. Madeira), Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Slovenia, Spain, Syria, Tunisia, Turkey, United Arab Emirates, and United States. Records from Australia, Papua New Guinea, Samoa, the Solomon Islands, and Vanuatu have not been confirmed and are likely to be specimens of Rhynchophorus bilineatus, a closely related species indigenous to the region".

The link below is of an excellent scientific article entitled, "Red Palm Weevil (Rhynchophorus ferrugineus Olivier, 1790): Threat of Palms"  which I found on the internet and may be of interest to people wishing to find out more about this insect devastating the palm populations around the world.
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