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Black Vine Weevil Larvae Crawling Deep Underground

black vine weevil 150Black vine weevil larvae overwinter in the soil. In the spring, the flightless adults emerge and feed at night on the outer edges of leaves, causing the leaves to have a notched margin. They mate and lay as many as 500 eggs in the soil near the base of host plants. The larvae hatch in a week or two and feed on plant roots until cold temperatures drive them further underground. The larval stage is quite destructive, especially to landscape plants such as rhododendron and azalea. Female black vine weevils have the ability to reproduce parthenogenetically. Fertilization of eggs is required to produce males, but no males have been observed in North America. (photo: adult black vine weevil on Jack-in-the-Pulpit fruit)

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4 responses

  1. Kate Schubart

    Last year half of a stand of very healthy monkshood suddenly died from the roots being destroyed. Could this be a black vine weevil deed? Nothing else in the vicinity, including bee balm and Jerusalem artichokes and hostas was affected. This season the remaining monkshood died off, but, again, nothing else was affected. The soil did seem to be penetrated with a whitish mold, but perhaps the vine weevil leaves that behind when they chew up roots. Any ideas, other NC readers?

    October 23, 2014 at 5:24 pm

  2. Dianne and Ed

    Hi Mary,

    I think I need clarification…… You say they mate, but then you say no males have been observed in NA….

    Am I missing something??

    :-), Dianne

    October 23, 2014 at 7:33 pm

    • Wow! Good catch, Dianne! I was not thinking straight when I wrote that they mated. Much appreciate the correction!

      October 23, 2014 at 9:47 pm

  3. The bane of gardeners!

    October 24, 2014 at 6:41 pm

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