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weevil

weevil, common name for certain beetles of the snout beetle family (Curculionidae), small, usually dull-colored, hard-bodied insects. The mouthparts of snout beetles are modified into down-curved snouts, or beaks, adapted for boring into plants; the jaws are at the end of the snout. The bent antennae usually project from the middle of the snout. The largest weevils are about 3 in. (7.6 cm) long, with the average length being about 1/4 in. (0.6 cm). The snout varies greatly in length among the different species; in the curculios, or nut weevils, it may be longer than the body. Different weevil species attack different parts of plants—fruits, seeds, leaves, stems, or roots. In most species the female lays her eggs inside the plant tissue, on which the growing larvae feed. The granary weevil and rice weevil are serious pests of stored cereal grains. The thousands of other destructive weevil species include the sweet-potato, vegetable, alfalfa, clover leaf, strawberry, and pine weevils, as well as the cotton boll weevil, the most serious weevil pest in the United States. The seed weevils, including the bean weevil, are not true weevils, but boring beetles of another family; they feed on leguminous crops, such as peas and beans. Weevils cause millions of dollars' worth of damage annually. The bark beetles, or engraver beetles, are related to the weevils. True weevils are classified in the phylum Arthropoda, class Insecta, order Coleoptera, family Curculionidae.

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Curculionidae

Curculionidae (weevils, snout beetles; subclass Pterygota, order Coleoptera) Family of robust beetles, 1–50 mm long, in which the elytra are toughened, and often highly sculptured, with a patter of coloured or metallic scales. Some are flightless, with fused elytra. The head is produced into a rostrum bearing mandibles at the tip; some are short and stout, others long and narrow, up to three times the length of the body. The antennae are elbowed and clubbed. Larvae are legless, grub-like, and are usually found inside a plant, or underground, at the roots. Many are crop pests (e.g. Anthonomus grandis, the cotton boll weevil, and Sitona lineatus, the bean weevil or pea weevil). There are 60 000 species, making it the largest beetle family.

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weevil

wee·vil / ˈwēvəl/ • n. a small beetle (Curculionidae and other families, superfamily Curculionoidea) with an elongated snout, the larvae of which typically develop inside seeds, stems, or other plant parts. Many are pests of crops or stored foodstuffs. ∎ inf. any small insect that damages stored grain. DERIVATIVES: wee·vil·y adj.

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weevil

weevil beetle the larva of which is destructive to grain, etc. XV. ME. wevyl, prob. — MLG. wevel = OE. wifel beetle, OS. goldwivil glowworm, OHG. wibil, wipil beetle, chafer, ON. *vifill (in tordýfill dung-beetle):- Gmc. *web̄ilaz. Continuity with OE. wifel is not shown, and the word may be due to commercial relations with the Low Countries.

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weevil

weevil Any of numerous species of beetle that are pests to crops, especially the numerous snout beetles (time weevils), with long, down-curved beaks for boring into plants. Family Curculionidae, the largest in the animal kingdom.

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weevil

weevil
1. See APIONIDAE.

2. See CURCULIONIDAE.

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weevil

weevilanvil, Granville •Jacksonville • Nashville •Greville, Neville •Melville • Grenville • weevil •Merthyr Tydfil • Louisville •Mandeville • Stanleyville • Knoxville •Orville • Townsville • Léopoldville •Huntsville • Elisabethville •vaudeville • Bougainville •Brazzaville • chervil • tranquil •Anwyl • pigswill • jonquil •whippoorwill • frazil • fusil

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