Cocopest - Information portal for major pests and diseases of coconut
Cocopest - Information portal for major pests and diseases of coconut
Cocopest - Information portal for major pests and diseases of coconut
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Rhynchophorus vulneratus (Asiatic palm weevil)
Adult male Rhynchophorus vulneratus
General information
Rhynchophorus vulneratus is native to Southeast Asia and was originally referred to as Rhynchophorus ferrugineus variety schach.

R. vulneratus is essentially a pest of plants belonging to the Palmae family. Leong (1987) reported that young sago palms provided better conditions than older ones for reproduction of R. vulneratus. Kimura (1979) reported R. vulneratus as a major pest of sago palm. Although R. vulneratus is a major pest of coconut and sago palms, there is not much information on the quantitative loss of palms due to this weevil.

  • In some cases, the initial stages of attack could be detected by the presence of holes in the stem, mainly in younger palms
  • In the later stages of attack, the central crown wilts and starts to lean towards one side
  • The attacked palm shows signs of 'skirting' of mature fronds.

Skirting symptom on attacked palm

Collapse of central spear

Detection and Inspection
  • The Davis Red Weevil Detector is an electronic instrument capable of amplifying the noise made by R. vulneratus larvae (Coconut Research Institute, 1971).
  • Aggregation pheromones are used to mass-trap or detect adult weevils
Taxonomic information
Category - Insect
Kingdom - Animalia
Phylum - Arthropoda
Class - Insecta
Order - Coleoptera
Family - Curculionidae
Genus - Rhynchophorus
Species - vulneratus
Common Name - Asiatic palm weevil
Scientific Name - Rhynchophorus vulneratus
R. vulneratus is reported to be present in Brunei, Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Papua New Guinea.
Prevention and Control
Cultural Control
  • Sanitation - In severe weevil-prone areas, all dead palms which are standing and trunks on the ground should be removed and burnt
  • Palms which are badly affected should be felled
Chemical Control
  • Carbaryl is recommended in injection trials, but for relatively short palms
  • Prophylactic measures are sometimes undertaken for young palms since detection is difficult during early stages
Other methods

The 'Davis Red Weevil Detector', an electronic device capable of amplifying the noise to detect infestation by the feeding grubs of R. ferrugineus in Sri Lanka (Anon., 1971) could also be used for detecting R. vulneratus.

Plant Parts Affected
Leaves, Stem
  1. Anon., 1970. Red weevil and its control. Coconut Research Institute Leaflet No. 37.
  2. Anon., 1971. The Chrysanthemum. Paris, Federation Nationale des Producteurs de l'Horticulture et des Pepinieres., No.8:123 pp.
  3. APPPC, 1987. Insect pests of economic significance affecting major crops of the countries in Asia and the Pacific region. Technical Document No. 135. Bangkok, Thailand: Regional Office for Asia and the Pacific region (RAPA).
  4. Arikiah A, 1988. Identification, censusing and treatment of Rhynchophorus schach Olivier (Red Stripe Weevil). Paper presented at the Planting Practices Committee Meeting at United Plantations Berhad on 27 July 1989 (mimeo).
  5. Bong CFJ, 1994. A meridic diet for the red stripe weevil. In: Rajan A, Ibrahim Y. eds. Proceedings: plant protection in the tropics. Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia: Malaysian Plant Protection Society.
  6. Booth RG, Cox ML, Madge RB, 1990. IIE guides to insects of importance to man. 3. Coleoptera. Wallingford, UK: CAB International.
  7. CABI/EPPO, 2016. Rhynchophorus vulneratus. [Distribution map]. Distribution Maps of Plant Pests, No.December. Wallingford, UK: CABI, Map 811.
  8. Corbett GH, Ponniah D, 1924. Red stripe weevil of coconuts. Department of Agriculture Straits Settlements and Federated Malay States. Bull. No. 36.
  9. EPPO, 2014. PQR database. Paris, France: European and Mediterranean Plant Protection Organization.
  10. Esteban-Durßn J, Yela JL, Beitia-Crespo F, JimTnez-ßlvarez A, 1998. Exotic curculionids susceptible to being introduced into Spain and other countries of the European Union through imported vegetables (Coleoptera: Curculionidae: Rhynchophorinae). Boleti^acute~n de Sanidad Vegetal, Plagas, 24(1):23-40; 26 ref.
  11. Flach M, 1983. The sago palm. FAO Plant Production and Protection Paper, No. 47:85 pp.
  12. Hoddle, M. S., Hoddle, C. D., Alzubaidy, M., Kabashima, J., Nisson, J. N., Millar, J., Dimson, M., 2017. The palm weevil Rhynchophorus vulneratus is eradicated from Laguna Beach., California Agriculture, 71(1):23-29
  13. Kimura N, 1979. Pests of sago palm and their control. Japanese Journal of Tropical Agriculture, 23(3):148-156
  14. Leefmans S, 1920. De Palmsnuitkever (Rhynchophorus ferrugineus Olivier). Mededelingen van het Instituut voor Plantenziekten, No. 43, Department van Landbouw, Nigverheld en handel Batavia.
  15. Leong CT, 1987. Sago worm culture. Annual Report of the Research Branch, Department of Agriculture for the year 1986 Sarawak; Ministry of Agriculture and Community Development, 77
  16. Mathen K, Kurian C, 1967. Prophylactic control of Rhynchophorus ferrugineus Fabr., the coconut weevil. Indian J. Agric. Sci. 36, No. 6., 285-286.
  17. Menon KPV, Pandalai KM, 1960. Pests. In: The Coconut palm. A Monograph. Inrankulam, South India: Indian Central Committee, 261-265.
  18. Morimoto K, 1985. Supplement to the check-list of the family Rhynchophoridae (Coleoptera) of Japan, with descriptions of a new genus and four new species. Esakia, No. 23:67-76
  19. Perez AL, Hallett RH, Gries R, Gries G, Oehlschlager AC, Borden JH, 1996. Pheromone chirality of Asian palm weevils, Rhynchophorus ferrugineus (Oliv.) and R. vulneratus (Panz.) (Coleoptera: Curculionidae). Journal of Chemical Ecology, 22(2):357-368; 26 ref.
  20. Rochat D, Descoins C, Malosse C, Nagnan P, Zagatti P, Akamou F, Mariau D, 1993. Chemical ecology of palm weevils, Rhynchophorus spp. (Coleoptera). Oleagineux (Paris), 48(5):225-236
  21. Rugman-Jones PF, Hoddle CD, Hoddle MS, Stouthamer R, 2013. The lesser of two weevils: molecular-genetics of pest palm weevil populations confirm Rhynchophorus vulneratus (Panzer 1798) as a valid species distinct from R. ferrugineus (Olivier 1790), and reveal the global extent of both. PLoS ONE, 8(10):e78379.
  22. Sivapragasam A, Arikiah A, Ranjit CA, 1990. The red stripe weevil, Rhynchophorus schach Olivier (Coleoptera: Curculionidae): an increasing menace to coconut palms in Hilir Perak. Planter, 66(768):113-123
  23. Waterhouse DF, 1993. The Major Arthropod Pests and Weeds of Agriculture in Southeast Asia. ACIAR Monograph No. 21. Canberra, Australia: Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research, 141 pp.
  24. Zagatti P, Rochat D, Berthier A, Nadarajan L, 1993. Continuous rearing of the palm weevil Rhynchophorus palmarum (L.) in the laboratory. Oleagineux (Paris), 48(5):213-217
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