Quick facts for kidsWeevils
|The Filbert weevil, Curculio occidentis, a pest of oak trees|
Weevils are herbivorous beetles. They have a long 'snout' at the front of their head, called a rostrum. Weevils are a family, the Curculionidae, which may be the largest beetle family, with about 45,000+ named living species. That makes it the largest family in the animal kingdom. In addition, the superfamily Curculionoidea has ten more families of closely related weevil-type beetles.
The Ips genus, feeding on Ponderosa pine, introduces a fungus to the tree. The fungus blocks resin canals, which leaves the weevil free to eat. Resin would normally wash the insects out; it is a defence mechanism. The fungus often kills the tree, and groups of dead trees are a focus for forest fires. In this way the insect is indirectly responsible for serious fires.
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Weevil Facts for Kids. Kiddle Encyclopedia.