Thursday 8 June 2017

Hazel Leaf Roller

Last year when the Kew Gardens team came out to collect Red Helleborine Cephalanthera rubra samples we encountered a Hazel Corylus avellana which had little green cigars hanging from the leaves. Kaz said he thought the cigars were made by a beetle but he couldn't remember its name. Once he got back to London he emailed to say that it was the Hazel Leaf Roller Apoderus coryli.

The Hazel Leaf Roller is a weird looking creature, not very big (5-8mm), with a red body and black head. They are related to weevils. The adults are active from May to September. The cigars are to protect and nourish the larvae.

The Hazel Leaf Roller is not closely related to the Nut Weevil Curculio nucum, which is also found in Hazels here.

Further Reading: The Wikipedia entry for the species has an excellent series of photos showing how the beetle rolls the Hazel leaf into a cigar form.


Le Pré de la Forge said...

I must look out for these!

Susan said...

Yes, me too. I've never seen the beetle, only their handiwork.

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