back to HYPP Zoology home page

Hypera postica (Gyllenhal)
Phytonomus postica, Hypera variabilis Herbst

Insecta, Coleoptera, Curculionidae .

Lucerne (leaf)weevil, Clover leaf weevil

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

- Adult: 4.0 to 6.5 mm long, oblong, convex, brown to blackish, covered in bifid scales; only slightly longer than wide prothorax, with 3 clear bands formed of bifid hairs. Rostrum 3-times longer than wide (*) .
- Egg: 1.0 x 0.5 mm, yellow then light brown.
- Larva: 10 mm long, light green with a fine white dorso-longitudinal line (*) .

- Host plants: legume plants, particularly lucerne.
- Adult: the young adult flies at the beginning of summer and feeds by gnawing the leaves and shoots of legume plants. Egg laying begins in autumn and continues into the spring, after an overwintering period.
The eggs are laid in small cavities formed by the female at the base of the lucerne stems.
Average fecundity, 600 to 800 eggs.
- Egg: embryonic development lasts 15 days to 2 months according to the temperature.
- Larva: the young larvae move towards the buds where they shelter and feed. Older larvae devour the leaf lamina, leaving the veins. When fully grown, each pupates in a loose cocoon spun on the leaves.

[R]Life Cycle
- 1 annual generation with 2 oviposition periods (autumn and spring) which can differ depending on the regions. The autumn egg layings period is the more important. Overwintering can occur in the adult, pupal, larval or egg (in the case of late egg laying) stages.

The larvae feed on the buds and are particularly harmful to lucerne seed-crops (*) .

[R]Common Names
DE: Luzerneblattnager ES: Gorgojo de la alfalfa, gusano verde FR: Phytonome de la luzerne IT: Punteruolo della medica PT: Fitónomo da luzerna GB: Lucerne (leaf)weevil, Clover leaf weevil

[R] Images

  1. Hypera postica (Gyllenhal) (Coutin R. / OPIE)
    Larva devouring an inflorescence of alfalfa
  2. Hypera postica (Gyllenhal) (Carré S. / INRA Lusignan)
    Adult on alfalfa
  3. Hypera postica (Gyllenhal) (Carré S. / INRA)
    Larvae on damaged alfalfa plants

To read this page in French

HYPPZ on line : Species (scientific name), Pests (common names), Glossary, Crops.

back to HYPP Zoology home page