True weevils and bark beetles
Lixus angustatus
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Coleoptera
Suborder: Polyphaga
Infraorder: Cucujiformia
Superfamily: Curculionoidea
Family: Curculionidae
Latreille, 1802
Some 20 subfamilies (but see text)
A true weevil

The Curculionidae comprise the family of the "true" weevils (or "snout beetles"). It is the third-largest animal family, with over 40,000 species described worldwide. It is surpassed only by the Ichneumonidae (Hymenoptera), with over 60,000 species, and the Staphylinidae (Coleoptera), with 58,000 species.

It also includes the bark beetles as subfamily Scolytinae, which are modified in shape in accordance with their wood-boring lifestyle. They do not much resemble other weevils, so they were traditionally considered a distinct family, Scolytidae. The family also includes the ambrosia beetles, of which the present-day subfamily Platypodinae was formerly considered the distinct family Platypodidae.


  • Description 1
  • Phylogeny and systematics 2
  • See also 3
  • References 4
  • External links 5


They are recognized by their distinctive long snouts and geniculate antennae with small clubs; beyond that, curculionids have considerable diversity of form and size, with adult lengths ranging from 1 to 40 mm (0.04 to 1.57 in).

Weevils are almost entirely plant feeders, and most species are associated with a narrow range of hosts, in many cases only living on a single species. With so many species to classify and over 400 genera, the taxonomy of this family is quite complicated, and authors disagree on the number and placement of various subfamilies, tribes, and subtribes.

Phylogeny and systematics

The phylogeny of the group is complex; with 40,000 species, a spirited debate exists about the relationships between subfamilies and genera. A 1997 analysis attempted to construct a phylogeny based mainly on larval characteristics.[1]

Almost two dozen subfamilies are recognized by some authors even when merging those that are certainly invalid. Others, however, recognize a lesser number – the only subfamilies that are almost universally considered valid are the Baridinae, Cossoninae, Curculioninae, Cyclominae, Entiminae, Molytinae, Platypodinae, and Scolytinae. The various proposed taxonomic schemes typically each usually recognize again as many additional subfamilies, but little agreement is seen between authorities about which ones of those below these are. In particular, the delimitation of the Molytinae has proven difficult.

Compound of a Cyrtotrachelus in acryl

The subfamilies considered valid by at least some authors today:

See also


  1. ^ Adriana E. Marvaldi (1997). "Higher level phylogeny of Curculionidae (Coleoptera: Curculionoidea) based mainly on larval characters, with special reference to broad-nosed weevils" ( 

External links

  • Media related to at Wikimedia Commons
  • Data related to Curculionidae at Wikispecies
  • Images of Curculionidae species found in New Zealand

On the University of Florida / Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences Featured Creatures website:

  • , pepper weevilAnthonomus eugenii
  • , sweetpotato weevilCylas formicarius
  • , cowpea curculioChalcodermus aeneus
  • , banana root borerCosmopolites sordidus
  • , cypress weevilEudociminus mannerheimii
  • Eurhinus magnificus
  • spp.Gerstaeckeria
  • , Mexican bromeliad weevilMetamasius callizona
  • , silky cane weevil,Metamasius hemipterus sericeus
  • , Florida bromeliad weevilMetamasius mosieri
  • ) spp., whitefringed beetlesGraphognathus (=Naupactus
  • , melaleuca weevilOxyops vitiosa
  • , Fuller rose weevilPantomorus cervinus
  • , twobanded Japanese weevilPseudocneorhinus bifasciatus
  • , palmetto weevilRhynchophorus cruentatus
  • , hunting billbugSphenophorus venatus

Other University web pages on economically important curculids:

  • , plum curculioConotrachelus nenuphar from the Ohio State University
  • , apple flea weevilOrchestes pallicornis from Michigan State University