One of the world's longest noses? Nope, not an elephant.....

Last month we went to the fabulous Wild About Wood Festival at Castle Howard, North Yorkshire, and ran "minibeast hunting" sessions. Everyone seemed to enjoy themselves and we found all sorts of weird and wonderful creatures. We lent nets for sweeping through grassland to a couple of lads, who came back with one of these:

Weevil

How amazing is that?! It's called Curculio betulae, and it is a weevil. Weevils are herbivorous, and their long nose (called a rostrum) has biting jaws at the end of it. This particular species has such a long rostrum that it is about as long as its body.

Not only was this weevil amazing to look at, it is also quite rare. Roger Key was on hand to identify it, and he said that it was "Nationally Scarce B", which means that it is found in less than 100 10km squares in the UK. To give you some idea of what that means, there are 2644 10km squares in the UK (according to my GIS expert friend Anne Owen!).

So, a great find lads! These species live on birch trees, so keep an eye out for them when you do the Biodiversity survey!

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Comments

Whenever I spot a species I don't know too much about...

RogerF's picture

... I always like to identify the extremes of the species.  

Such as which is the biggest?  In this case it is the giant palm weevil (Protocerius colossus) which can reach nearly 10cms long (also check out the 8cm long giraffe weevil which has a neck like... well, like a giraffe's!)

But most importantly to this species, you must know which is the smallest. I can't stress the importance of this enough.  In this case it is Myrtonymus zelandicus, which is only 0.7mm long.

I hear you ask 'Why is it so important to know which is the smallest?'

Well, don't you know the importance of being able to choose the lesser of two weevils?

(Old and awful gag.)

On a more serious note, the Natural History Museum was recently presented with one of the largest collections of weevils in the world - more than 45,000 in total.  A small display will be running until January 2011.

http://www.nhm.ac.uk/about-us/news/2010/august/wonderful-weevil-collection-comes-to-museum79149.html

knock knock

raffers's picture

who's there?

Weevil

Weevil who?

Weevil not keep you long, please open the door.

Shame

adambates's picture

You should be ashamed of your terrible puns.... both of you!