Vine weevil

yew beetle damage and life cycle

The vine weevil Otiorhynchus sulcatus

The Yew Beetle is from the Weevil Family. This beetle species has been observed in many parts of the world, including the Netherlands. It can be recognised by its distinctive long snout and feelers. With its brownish-black colour and mottled carapace, it is easy to identify. Typically, they have a size of 8-11 millimetres.     

The life cycle of a vine weevil 

In contrast to the Chickadee and June beetle the vine weevil cannot fly. The shield on their back is fused to the body and the long antennae have a slight kink in the middle. This beetle is active at night and moves by walking. If you are looking for a Yew Beetle, it is best to look under plant pots, patios and other dark places. In Europe, the vine weevil can be found as a beetle from May onwards. An adult vine weevil is always a female and it usually stays alive for 6 to 8 months. It should be added, however, that they can live longer during a middle winter. There have been cases where the female survives for several years, but as written, this is highly dependent on temperature. The vine weevil goes through four life stages, it starts as an egg, from which a larva (grubs) emerges, then they enter the pupal stage, after which they finally become an adult beetle.

How does the vine weevil reproduce

Taxus weevil development varies greatly and is largely dependent on temperature. Too high, or too low, temperatures slow down the reproduction process. In addition, a striking feature of the Yew Beetle is that the population consists entirely of females. These females reproduce unisexually, so they do not need a male for this process. The females lay eggs for as long as they live, between 500 and 1,000 at a time. Depending on the temperature, they do this every 20 - 40 days. The perfect temperature for the vine weevil to reproduce is around 20 degrees. In addition, high soil moisture is good for development. If it is colder than ten degrees, or warmer than thirty degrees, they stop laying eggs.
Under ideal conditions, development from egg to adult vine weevil can take place in four months. But it can sometimes take up to eight months in cold climates. There is overwintering in the latter case, which inhibits the rate of development.    

life cycle grubs in soil June beetle cockchafer

Damage caused by vine weevil

Yew beetle damage is caused by both the larvae and the beetle itself. These larvae are popularly known as grubs called. In the first stage of their life, these feed on small roots of the planting. In this first stage, the grass, for example, will not yet be much harmed by the grubs. But in the second larval stage, they start eating on large roots of the grass. Because of this progression, the infestation is often only noticed at a late stage. Besides the damage caused by the larvae, Vine weevils can also cause damage themselves. They are active only at night and take bites from crops. This need not cause immediate problems but of course gives an unsightly appearance. If the beetles are present in large numbers, they can completely destroy an ornamental crop. 

Finally, so-called secondary damage can occur at the hands of birds and other mammals, these dig for the larvae in the grass, which of course can cause the necessary damage.

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