Lixus angustatus
Scientific classification e
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Coleoptera
Superfamily: Curculionoidea
Family: Curculionidae
Latreille, 1802

Curculionidae is the family of the "true" weevils (or "snout beetles"). It was formerly recognized in 1998 as the largest of any animal family, with over 40,000 species described worldwide at that time.[1] Today, it is still one of the largest known.



They are recognized by their distinctive long snout and geniculate antennae with small clubs; beyond that, curculionids have considerable diversity of form and size, with adult lengths ranging from 1 to 40 millimetres (0.04 to 1.57 in).

Weevils are almost entirely plant feeders, and most species are associated with a narrow range of hosts, in many cases only living on a single species. With so many species to classify and over 400 genera, the taxonomy of this family is quite complicated, and authors disagree on the number and placement of various subfamilies, tribes and subtribes.

The word "weevil" has been made famous by the boll weevil, which lays its eggs and feeds inside cotton bolls, ruining the crop.


The phylogeny of the group is complex; with 40,000 species there is a spirited debate about the relationships between subfamilies and genera. A 1997 analysis attempted to construct a phylogeny based mainly on larval characteristics.[2]

See also

Portal icon Insects portal
Portal icon Arthropods portal


External links

On the University of Florida / Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences Featured Creatures website: