Mononychus punctum-album (NL: Lissnuitkever, Lisboorder / EN: Iris seed weevil / DE: Weißpunktige Schwertlilienrüssler, Irisrüssler / FR: Charançon de l’iris des marais) is a species of beetle in the curculionidae family. The larvae of the Iris Seed Weevil lives in the seeds of the Yellow Iris (Iris pseudacorus), the adults are seen on other plants as well. In this image they are visiting a Ranunculus spec. In small numbers they do little damage, but may cause small holes in the buds of the flowers. So the flowers can look punctuated. When appearing in great numbers they may completely ruin an Iris, sometimes even causing the plant to die. The adult beetle is some 4 to 5 mm long and looks like many other small weevils. The basic colour is black, but the shields may be covered in dense, short brown hairs. Yet the species is easily identified by the white (sometimes yellow) spot near the beginning of the shields. Even though there is only one breed a year the little beetles live for a long time. The first adults appear in May, feeding and swarming. Mating takes place in May as well. In July females start to deposit their eggs in the developing seeds of the host plant. The larvae are very secure in the seeds, for Irisses will quickly fill all holes made by the beetle by producing a special liquid that fills up the holes. This liquid quickly hardens when in contact with air. The new adults appear in August and September, rapidly find a place in leaf litter and that is where they overwinter.
Image: Wijnegem (BE) – 20/05/2012
© Johan Dierckx
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