Elephant Weevils

Elephant Weevils, Western Australia

Orthorrhinus Cylindrirostris

The Elephant Weevil is a known pest in the wine industry, attacking the roots, stems and fruit of the vines. Other species of weevils are pests to crops such as rice and grain.  I have a lemon tree in my back yard which is home to a family of Elephant Weevils. Imagine my surprise when I discovered this little charmer chewing on a branch. They are particualrly good at camoflague, so you have to look long and hard to actually find one. They aren't very large either, but when you see them up close they look like a cross between an elephant and an a teddy bear. They have this perculiar armour plated looking body (exoskeleton) which protects them from predators such as birds and the ever present wasp. Vulnerable when young, newly hatched weevils are often found under plant tissues , at the base of the plant or sometimes under rocks near the plant, until they are ready to face the world and the fruit trees. And the weevil isn't too bad at acting either! If you happen to find an elephant weevil and pick it up, don't be too surprised if it suddenly collapses in a heap. Playing dead is just another way of protecting itself from predators.