Rhyncophorus, coconut, China (interception) Minimize

May 2011. In China, an interception of a beetle from coconut shipped from Indonesia. An identification was requested (although the image was out of focus).

It was thought to be the Red palm weevil, Rhycophorous sp. The image is too blurred to see if it is R. vulneratus or R. ferrugineus, the two most important Asian species.

It was thought to be R. vulneratus by the memeber in China Insepction and Quarantine, Hainan.

However, a member wrote from Spain that R. vulneratus and R. ferruginatus are considered to be the same. See: Hallet RH et al. (2004) Journal of Natural History 38: 2863-2882). In response, the China Inspection and Quarantine wrote that they had saw the two species as different. In general, the elytra of R. ferruginatus is red, and the male and female are similar, whereas R. vulneratus male and female are very different. The adult female is black, with a conspicuous longitudinal red stripe on the pronotum. also, the female is slightly smaller than the male, with a body length of 30.6 mm.

The abstract of the Hallet paper is provided:

Synonymy of Rhynchophorus ferrugineus (Olivier), 1790 and R. vulneratus (Panzer), 1798 (Coleoptera, Curculionidae, Rhynchophorinae)


{Department of Environmental Biology, University of Guelph, Guelph, ON, Canada N1G 2W1; e-mail: rhallett@evb.uoguelph.ca
{Department of Biological Sciences, Simon Fraser University, Burnaby,  BC, Canada V5A 1S6
§Centre for Pest Management, Department of Biological Sciences, Simon Fraser University, Burnaby, BC, Canada V5A 1S6
(Accepted 10 October 2003)

Morphological, molecular-genetic and breeding data were collected to investigate
the species status of the Asian palm weevils, Rhynchophorus ferrugineus (Olivier) and
R. vulneratus (Panzer) (Coleoptera: Curculionidae). These weevils are distinguished
by characteristic colouring of the pronota and elytra, but naturally occurring colour
intermorphs were observed. Contrary to the literature, quantitative measurements
of the concavity of subgenal sutures and of pronotal shape indicated no differences
between the two species. Larvae did not differ significantly in labral characteristics.
Random amplified polymorphic DNA (RAPD) banding patterns were identical for
nine of 14 primers, indicating that these weevils are very closely related. Sequences of
the cytochrome oxidase gene for 201 base pairs read were identical for R. ferrugineus
and R. vulneratus, but the congener R. bilineatus differed from them by 10%,
suggesting divergence of these lineages about 5 million years ago. Hybrid F1s were
obtained from all heterospecific crosses, and one surviving hybrid F1 female
produced viable eggs. Previous studies have revealed no pheromonal differences. On
the basis of this evidence, R. ferrugineus and R. vulneratus should be considered
colour morphs of the same species and be synonymized under the name
Rhynchophorus ferrugineus (Olivier), with the common name Asian palm weevil.
KEYWORDS: Asian palm weevil, red palm weevil, cross-breeding, mitochondrial
DNA sequencing, morphological comparisons, RAPD analyses, Rhynchophorinae, Rhynchophorus ferrugineus, Rhynchophorus vulneratus, synonymization.

It was pointed out by a member that the Red palm weevil discovered inn Califormnia in August 2010 was also similar to what is generally accepted at the colour of R. vulneratus, but there is much diversity in this character. In 2008, a totally black form was found in Turkey.