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Bug of the Week: Agave Weevil

My son noticed a beetle on the sidewalk. For once, I wasn't all that glad to spot an insect.

agave-weevil-good-furtherSee the long snout that is rather like an elephant's trunk?  This insect is an agave weevil.

agave-plantBecause the adults don't fly, it likely came from one of the agave plants in our yard.

agave-weevil-larva-paper-towelSure enough, when we dug around at the base of one of our agaves that was looking yellowed and wrinkly, we found some agave weevil larvae.

agave-weevil-larva-upside-down-mouthpartThe first thing you notice is that although they are legless, the larvae are able to move quite quickly. This one is upside down, so you can view where the legs should be. You can also see its mouthparts on the dark brown head.

agave-weevil-larva-111What are those paired structures at the end of the abdomen? This one has spiracles for breathing, which you can see as circles down the middle of the side. Once embedded in the plant, however, it is possible the larva uses those tubes at the rear for breathing. Other insects that live in wet soil have similar structures.

After studying the larvae, I have to admit I began to find them interesting. Sometimes my yard feels like an "outdoor laboratory."

What did you find in your "outdoor laboratory" this week?

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