Tuesday, 19 May 2020

Vine Leaf Roller Weevil


My winemaker friend Christophe posted this photo on his Domaine de la Chaise Facebook page so I asked if I could scrounge it. It shows, on the right, an adult Vine Leaf Roller Weevil Byctiscus betulae (Fr. Cigarier) and on the left, the 'cigar' it rolls from a vine leaf to enclose its egg and larva.

Vine Leaf Roller Weevil Bystiscus betulae.  Indre et Loire, France. Photographed by Susan Walter. Tour the Loire Valley with a classic car and a private guide.
Photograph courtesy of Christophe Davault.

In the old days these used to be considered a vineyard pest and no doubt gallons of some dreadfully toxic pesticide was poured on the vines to control the beetle. These days though, the damage they cause is viewed as minimal and vignerons take the view that they can be left to do their thing. Christophe commented that certainly as far back as his grandfather's day in the vineyard the beetle has not been controlled on his family estate. He himself is happy just to take its photo.

Although they are called Vine Leaf Rollers in English, in fact they are not very fussy about what type of leaf they use. Beech and Birch, as their scientific name suggests, are more likely to be used, but they will also use vines or fruit trees, especially pears and cherries. They are metallic in appearance and can be blue, green or bronze. The species belongs to the family Rhynchitidae, the tooth-nosed snout weevils.

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4 comments:

chm said...

It's amazing what nature and évolution can do!

Susan said...

These are not the only leaf rolling weevils we get here. There is also the bright red Hazel Leaf Roller.

Simon Leather said...

Cute

Susan said...

Weevils are very appealing, aren't they?!

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