A weevil is a type of beetle from the Curculionoidea super family. They are usually small, less than 6 millimetres (0.24 in), and herbivorous. There are over 60,000 species in several families, mostly in the family Curculionidae (the true weevils). Some other beetles, although not closely related, bear the name “weevil”, such as the biscuit weevil (Stegobiumpaniceum), which belongs to the family Anobiidae.
Many weevils are damaging to crops. The grain or wheat weevil (Sitophilusgranarius) damages stored grain. The boll weevil (Anthonomusgrandis) attacks cotton crops. It lays its eggs inside cotton bolls, and the young weevils eat their way out.
Weevils are often found in dry foods including nuts and seeds, cereal and grain products, such as pancake mix. In the domestic setting, they are most likely to be observed when a bag of flour is opened. Their presence is often indicated by the granules of the infested item sticking together in strings, as if caught in a cobweb.
One species of weevil, Austroplatypusincompertus exhibits eusociality, one of the few organisms outside of Hymenoptera to do so.
“Boll weevil” by USDA ARS – This image was released by the Agricultural Research Service, the research agency of the United States Department of Agriculture, with the ID K2742-6 (next).
“Boll Weevil (PSF)” by Pearson Scott Foresman – Pearson Scott Foresman, donated to the Wikimedia Foundation. Licensed under Public domain via Wikimedia Commons.