Is this a boll weevil?
May 4, 2011 1:23 PM   Subscribe

What's this bug (picture included)? It looks like a boll weevil, but i thought they are only found where cotton is farmed?

I found it on my kitchen counter in Vermont. It's less than a centimeter long, and not in a hurry to get anywhere. From what I've read about boll weevils, I wouldn't expect to find it here.

Is it perhaps not a weevil at all? But it sure looks like one.
posted by maniabug to Science & Nature (8 answers total)
Check What's That Bug? if you haven't already. A quick search for "weevil" turned up a whole variety of weevils, some of which look like yours.
posted by katillathehun at 1:28 PM on May 4, 2011

Thanks! I did look at, but I'm perplexed why a boll weevil should be found here. Looks like I'll be doing some further research.
posted by maniabug at 1:31 PM on May 4, 2011

Boll weevils are only one species of weevil; there are actually 60,000 species of weevils in several families. The Boll feeds on cotton, but most don't. The Maize weevil feeds on corn, for example, and the Rice weevil on... well, I'll leave that part a mystery.

So it's not surprising that you have a weevil, and while it would be surprising if it were a Boll, it's probably not.
posted by The Michael The at 1:37 PM on May 4, 2011 [3 favorites]

The boll weevil pics I'm finding are pretty distinctly different from your bug. Much longer proboscis, different positioning of the antennae, different shaped front legs. I'd believe you've found a weevil of some sort, but not a boll weevil.

posted by jon1270 at 1:37 PM on May 4, 2011

Weevils aren't just found in cotton fields. There are all kinds of weevils, for one thing, and sometimes they can even turn up in a box of cereal (happened to me once in urban California. Was gross). I'd check your pantry, if I were you.
posted by katillathehun at 1:38 PM on May 4, 2011

I think this is a weevil, but not a boll weevil... check out the bugguide page for Dryophthorus americanus.
posted by Cold Lurkey at 1:43 PM on May 4, 2011 [1 favorite]

See previously -- I think you've got the same thing. Those kind of weevils end up in house for a number of reasons, and one big reason is that their eggs are already inside birdseed or other uncooked and unprocessed seeds. If you've got birdseed around that's not in an airtight container, after a few weeks those little guys start crawling out. Nothing harmful or gross about them, other then that they're weevils and they're walking on your stuff without your permission.
posted by AzraelBrown at 2:04 PM on May 4, 2011

AzraelBrown, that's a pretty good bet. My weevil's thorax looks more bulbous and bigger than the thorax relative to the grain weevil, but the circumstantial evidence is strong. We do cook with seeds and grain stored in our pantry. Further investigations will head in that direction.
posted by maniabug at 2:22 PM on May 4, 2011

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