The boll-weevil, preying on the cotton, is the most noxious of the insects.
On the other hand, there are Arctic species like the ground-beetle, Pelophila borealis, and south-western species like the boring weevil, Mesites Tardyi, common in Ireland, and represented in northern or western Britain, but unknown in eastern Britain or in Central Europe.
In Europe a number of " long-snouted " beetles, such as the raspberry weevils (Otiorhynchus picipes), the apple blossom weevil (Anthonomus pomorum), attack fruit; others, as the " corn weevils " (Calandra oryzae and C. granaria), attack stored rice and corn; while others produce swollen patches on roots (Ceutorhynchus sulcicollis), &c. All these Curculionidae are very timid creatures, falling to the ground at the least shock.
Larval " weevils " mostly feed on the roots of plants, but some, such as the nut weevil (Balaninus nucum), live as larvae inside fruit.
Boring grub of a longhorn-beetle or of the saw-fly Sires, with its stumpy vestiges of thoracic legs; the large-headed but entirely legless, fleshy grub of a weevil; and the legless larva, with greatly reduced head, of a bee.
Of this total no less than $40,000,000 (8,000,000) is credited to a small beetle, the cotton boll weevil, and to two caterpillars.
The cotton boll weevil (Anthonomus grandis), a small grey weevil often called the Mexican boll weevil, is the most serious pest of cotton in the United States, where the damage done by it in 1907 was estimated at about £5,000,000.
No certain remedy is known for the destruction on a commercial scale of the boll weevil, but every effort has been made in the United States to check the advance of the insect, to ascertain and encourage its natural enemies, and to propagate races of cotton which resist its attacks.
The Indians in part of Guatemala raise cotton, although the boll weevil is abundant.
Examination showed that although the weevil attacked the young buds these did not drop off, but that a special growth of tissue inside the bud frequently killed the grub.
Probably by unconscious selection of surviving plants through long ages this type has been evolved in Guatemala, and experiments have been made to develop weevil-resistant races in the United States.
Mr Cook also found that the boll weevil was attacked, killed and eaten by an ant-like creature, the " kelep."
Other beetles, such as the rice weevil (Calandra oryza), also attack dried tobacco.
In the Philippines, a cricket (Scepastus pachyrhynchoides), has taken on the shape and coloration of a species of Apocyrtus, a hard and inedible weevil (Curculionidae); and Phoraspis, a kind of grasshopper similarly resembles ladybirds (Coccinellidae).
The antennae of these weevils are short and end in a knob; those of the Longicorns are very much larger, but the weevil-like look is produced by the presence of a knob-like swelling upon the third joint, the terminal portion of the antenna being so extremely fine as to be almost invisible.
The diamond beetle of South America, Entimus imperialis, is' another singularly beautiful weevil; its colour is black, studded with spangles of golden green.
WEEVIL, Anglo-Saxon wifel, a term now commonly applied to the members of a group of Coleoptera termed the Rhyncophora.
One of the commonest members of this family in Great Britain is the nut weevil, Balaninus nucum.
P. sylvestris in Britain is liable to many insect depredations: the pine-chafer, Hylurgus piniperda, is destructive in some places, the larva of this beetle feeding on the young succulent shoots, especially in young plantations; Hylobius abietis, the fir-weevil, eats away the bark, and numerous lepidopterous larvae devour the leaves; the pine-sawfly is also injurious in some seasons; the removal of all dead branches from the trees and from the ground beneath them is recommended, as most of these insects lay their eggs among the decaying bark and dead leaves.
Among these the beetle Balaninus nucum, the nut-weevil, seen on hazel and oak stems from the end of May till July, is highly destructive to the nuts.
I had in my cellar a firkin of potatoes, about two quarts of peas with the weevil in them, and on my shelf a little rice, a jug of molasses, and of rye and Indian meal a peck each.