Ceutorhynchus typhae (Herbst, 1795)

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POLYPHAGA Emery, 1886

CURCULIONOIDEA Latreille, 1802

CURCULIONIDAE Latreille, 1802

CEUTORHYNCHINAE Gistel, 1848

CEUTORHYNCHINI Gistel, 1848

Ceutorhynchus Germar, 1824

Widely referred to in older literature as C. floralis (Paykull, 1792), this species occurs throughout Europe north to the UK and far beyond the Arctic Circle in Fennoscandia, it reaches North West Africa to the south and extends through Asia Minor and Russia into Eastern Asia, it is generally common throughout this range and is generally the most common member of the genus in Europe. Following introductions from Europe to control invasive weed species it has also become established and widespread in North America.  In the UK it is generally common throughout England and Wales and more local and scarce further north to Inverness and in Northern Ireland. Host plants include a range of wild Brassicaceae, most commonly Shepherd’s Purse (Capsella bursa-pastoris (L.)) but also e.g. Hoary Cress (Lepidium draba L.), Great Yellowcress (Rorippa amphibia (L.)), Creeping Yellowcress (R. sylvestris (L.)), Thale Cress (Arabidopsis thaliana (L.)), Land Cress (Barbarea verna (Mill.)), Sea Rocket (Cakile maritima Scop.), Treacle-Mustard (Erysimum cheiranthoides L.) and Field Pennycress (Thlaspi arvense L.) Adults are likely to be found in any habitat where the hosts occur, both warm and dry and wet and humid, they are often abundant on field margins, waste ground and verges but sweeping vegetation in any fairly open situation, including domestic gardens, should produce them in numbers. Specimens often occur in yellow pan traps and pheromone traps placed among various flowering brassicas, and sometimes in numbers but the species is not considered a crop pest. Although the active season for adults is generally April until August or September, they overwinter in soil below host plants and specimens occasionally occur throughout the autumn and winter, they peak in abundance during May and June and this is the main reproductive season. Overwintered adults appear from mid March and feed on host foliage for a few weeks before mating occurs in April and May, at this time flowers may be crowded with specimens as feeding and mating proceeds. Eggs are laid in unripe seed heads from May to July and larvae feed on developing seeds, they grow quickly and all instars have been recorded from late May. Larvae leave the seeds and drop to the soil where they will pupate and new-generation adults mostly remain in situ until the following spring.

Ceutorhynchus typhae 1

Ceutorhynchus typhae 1

Ceutorhynchus typhae 2

Ceutorhynchus typhae 2

1.5-2.4 mm. Elongate-oval and moderately strongly convex, entirely black but for the antennae and third tarsomere which are often brown, dorsal surface and legs with conspicuous recumbent pale scales. Head with weakly convex eyes and diverging temples, surface densely punctured throughout, rostrum cylindrical and evenly but not strongly curved. Antennae inserted about the rostral middle in males, towards the base in females, scape gradually and only weakly thickened from the base, funiculus 6-segmented and club long and pointed. Pronotum transverse, broadest near the base and narrowed to a weakly raised apical margin, surface strongly and densely punctured throughout and with a small tubercle either side of the disc, with extensive narrow and elongate scales across the disc and broader and paler scales towards the margins, especially across the base, these broader scales extensively cover the ventral surface and are visible from above on the raised mesepimera in front of the elytral humeri. Elytra broadest behind sloping shoulders and gently curved to a continuous apical margin, basal margin sinuate and closely approximated to the pronotal base, striae narrow, well-impressed and complete to the apex, interstices 1.5-2X wider than the striae, flat and rather coarsely sculptured, each with two (in places three) rows of narrow scales and with scattered broader scales which may also form a conspicuous elongate patch in the sutural interstice behind the scutellum. Legs long and robust, femora not, or only very weakly, toothed, middle and hind tibiae with a strong apical spur in males, normal in females. Tarsi pseudotetramerous with the third segment widely and deeply bilobed. Claws simple. Easily identified among our UK species by the small size, 6-segmented funiculus and the distribution of scales in the elytral interstices.