The lesser of two weevils
Whilst looking for Adonis Blue butterflies on West Yatton Down I discovered this little chap standing on a Hazel leaf. Further investigation revealed it to be a Hazel-leaf roller weevil Apoderus coryli.
It’s a beetle belonging to the family Attelabidae subfamily Attelaninae which are sometimes called giraffe weevils for rather obvious reasons. These primitive insects have a bell-shaped thorax (pronotum) and rather protruding eyes.
The female cuts a slit into a hazel leaf, lays her eggs on it then rolls it up into a cigar-shaped cylinder. Typically she’ll produce several cylinders each day. The adults will emerge later in the summer. There are two generations but the second generation will overwinter in the cylinders.
This is one of two species found in the UK, both of which are red. The second, the Oak-leaf roller weevil Attelabus nitensis is usually found on Quercus (Oak).
Apologies for the title of this post which wasn’t that funny when cracked by Russell Crowe as Captain Jack Aubrey in the 2003 film Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World. Enjoyable film though.