16 April 2016

Red Palm Weevil (Rhynchophorus ferrugineus) cocoons

Those of you who are regular readers to my blog will know that I have previously written several blog posts about an insect called a Red Palm Weevil (Rhynchophorus ferrugineus) http://brightlycolouredsunflowers.blogspot.co.il/2013/10/red-palm-weevil-rhynchophorus.html which is causing the death and destruction of palm trees around the world.  

My husband came across these cocoons where the adult Red Palm Weevils had obviously emerged and left and saw them lying in between the palm fronds of a deceased palm tree in the northern coastal city of Haifa in Israel.  There appears to be no stopping the spread of this incredibly destructive insect.  I have so far seen evidence of its existence and consequent destruction to Phoenix dactylifera and Phoenix canariensis in Malta, Tunisia, Turkey and now in Israel.  

According to an academic research article written by Gomez and Ferry, 1998 http://www.palms.org/palmsjournal/2002/redweevil.htm  the Red Palm Weevil has also been sighted in Spain, Egypt and the Near East.  It is estimated that a single adult female can lay up to 200 eggs and the damage to the palm trees is caused mainly by the larvae feeding on the soft plant tissues around the base of the growth point/terminal bud of the palms. http://www.fao.org/docrep/006/y4360e/y4360e00.jpg

I came across an article today whilst carrying out some research on the internet on effective ways to control the Red Palm Weevil.  Apparently scientists and entomologists in California, USA have found a way to eradicate and stop the spread of the Red Palm Weevil.  If this is indeed correct then I sincerely hope that it can be replicated around the world before entire  Phoenix dactylifera and Phoenix canariensis palm populations are decimated. Those of you who are interested can read about their multi pronged attack via this link: http://cisr.ucr.edu/red_palm_weevil.html   As for me, I am merely an amateur horticulturist with a special interest in entomology.  I will do my best to continue to inform the readers of my blog about sightings of this insect in order to raise awareness.
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