Otiorhynchus (= Brachyrhinus) sulcatus (Curculionidae)

the black vine weevil


Otiorhynchus sulcatus adult. Root weevils can be recognized by their short snouts, stout swollen bodies (Otiorhynchus looks almost 'inflated'), elongate elbowed antennae and enlarged femur on all legs. All are parthenogenic. 8-11 mm in length. Adults can live for three or more years and lay eggs each spring.


Otiorhynchus sulcatus larvae; they are apodous and typically Curculionid in appearance. Legless, curved larvae are white to pinkish in colour, and have brown heads. The mandibles are short. The body segments appear somewhat wrinkled and hairy. Half-grown larvae overwinter in the soil.


Seedlings damaged by Otiorhynchus sulcatus feeding. Both the adult and larval stages are damaging to seedlings. The adult weevils live above ground feeding on cotyledons and on the bark of seedlings at night. Root weevil larvae are subterranean, feeding on the roots of many kinds of plants including conifer seedlings in nursery beds.

Principal Hosts:

Generally this insect attacks various broad-leaved plants such as berries and rhododendrons. However, coniferous seedlings can also be utilized as hosts.

Economic Importance:

This insect can cause very significant damage in a forest nursery situation. Rhododendrons are a favourite food of these weevils. Rhododendrons around a nursery can give valuable indication of damage levels by these insects.

References and Links:

EAG: 549-553; FC: 329.

See Diseases and Insects in British Columbia Forest Seedling Nurseries.

Fact sheet: (Pennsylvania)

Fact sheet (Seattle)

Additional Images:

Adult Otiorhynchus sulcatus.