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Curculio elephas (Gyllenhal)
Balaninus elephas

Insecta, Coleoptera, Curculionidae .

Chestnut weevil

Description, Biology, Life Cycle, Damage, Common Names, Images


[R]Description
- Adult: 6 to 9 mm long, yellowish to greyish, covered in a thick pubescence; rostrum slender, strongly curved, and that of the female as long as the body (*) .
- Larva: 15 mm long, apodous, thick, curved, creamy white; head brown (*) .

[R]Biology
- This weevil is restricted to chestnut and oak (Quercus).
- Adult: it appears at the beginning of autumn and feeds for a week; then, the female lays 1 or several eggs in the chestnuts or in the acorns.
Average fecundity: 40 eggs.
- Egg, larva: embryonic and larval development lasts 35 to 40 days. The larva then perforates the fruit (*) , devours it, and then buries itself in the ground at a depth of 7-8 mm. It builds an earthen cell in which it overwinters and eventually pupates (during the next summer) (*) .

[R]Life Cycle
- 1 generation per year.
- The diapausing larvae pupate at the end of June and the adults appear from mid-August to the end of September in the south of France.

[R]Damage
The attacked fruits drop prematurely. Damage is very variable depending on the different chestnut varieties.


[R]Common Names
DE: Kastanienbohrer ES: Gorgojo de las castañas FR: Balanin des châtaignes IT: Balanino delle castagne PT: Balanino das castanhas GB: Chestnut weevil

[R] Images

  1. Curculio elephas (Gyllenhal) (Coutin R. / OPIE)
    Fully grown larva emerging from a chestnut
  2. Curculio elephas (Gyllenhal) (Coutin R. / OPIE)
    Female on a sweet chestnut leaf
  3. Curculio elephas (Gyllenhal) (Coutin R. / OPIE)
    Larva inside a chestnut kernel
  4. Curculio elephas (Gyllenhal) (Coutin R. / OPIE)
    Overwintering cells of larvae in the ground

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