Belidae

Belidae is a family of weevils, called belids or primitive weevils because they have straight antennae, unlike the "true weevils" or Curculionidae which have elbowed antennae. They are sometimes known as "cycad weevils", but this properly refers to a few species from the genera Parallocorynus and Rhopalotria.

COLE Belidae Agathinus tridens
Agathinus tridens
Belidae
Temporal range: Late Jurassic – Recent
c.165–0 Ma
Long nosed weevil edit
Rhinotia hemistictus
Scientific classification
Kingdom:
Phylum:
Class:
Order:
Superfamily:
Family:
Belidae

Subfamilies

Belinae
Oxycoryninae
and see text

Distribution

The Belidae today have an essentially Gondwanan distribution, occurring only in the Australia–New Guinea–New Zealand region up to Southeast Asia, South and Central America (barely reaching North America), some Pacific islands (notably the Hawaiian Islands) and a few places in Africa. Many lineages of belids are notable for their highly relictual distribution; for example the Aglycyderini are found in two areas on opposite sides of the Earth, with no such beetles known from anywhere in between.[1]

Belids were more widespread during the Late Jurassic to Early Cretaceous, about 161 to 100 million years ago, when they were found at least in Central Asia, Spain and Brazil.[2] Paleogene species belonging to still-living tribes are known from Europe and North America.[1]

Description

Belidae wpe147 Rhinotia haemoptera
Rhinotia haemoptera resembles a fire-coloured beetle (Pyrochroidae) in colour.

Members of the subfamily Belinae are typically elongated and cylindrical. Some belines resemble other weevils, like the genus Lixus of the true weevil family (Curculionidae), or brentids. Others are mimetic and imitate less closely related Polyphaga beetles such as Lycidae or Pyrochroidae.[1]

The adults are distinguished from other ancient weevil lineages by some characteristic traits: The fore tibia of belines is unusual in that it has a comb of bristles (setae) in an apical groove opposite the tarsal articulation; this is used for grooming. Microscopically, the spermathecal gland is several times longer than the spermathecal capsule. Most also have only a few (four or fewer) setae on each mandible (more in Aglycyderini), and the pronotum is constricted at the tip (not in Oxycorynus, Parallocorynus and Rhopalotria).[1]

The endocarina is V-shaped. In most, the antennae have a retractable membrane at the base (not in Parallocorynus and Rhopalotria), and the alimentary canal has caeca distributed all over at random (in two clean bundles in Aglycyderini and Metrioxenini).[1]

Ecology

Eumaeus atala florida
The Atala butterfly (Eumaeus atala) can only survive because the belid Rhopalotria slossoni pollinates its foodplant.

Adults usually eat pollen; the larvae feed on the wood of diseased or dying plants or on deadwood, flower buds or fruits. Though they may appear to be pests because of their association with plants dying off, belids tend to avoid healthy plants. They may occur as a secondary complication in plants already affected by some pest or disease however. But altogether, belids (as opposed to many other weevils) are normally harmless and can be beneficial, the adults as pollinators and the larvae as indicator species for bad condition of their host plants. In Florida for example, Rhopalotria slossoni is important in maintaining populations of the rare Coontie (Zamia pumila); indirectly, the Atala butterfly (Eumaeus atala) also depends on this beetle.

The original host plants of belids were probably Araucariaceae, conifers which were extremely common during the time when the family evolved. Some modern genera also feed on angiosperms, usually rather old groups like Balanophoraceae, Myrtaceae or Vitaceae, on cycads, or on palms. The Pacific genus Proterhinus has undergone a vigorous adaptive radiation on the Hawaiian Islands and evolved to utilize a wide range of the limited diversity of plants found there.[1]

Systematics

The subfamilies have each, at various times, been considered as separate families, but they are grouped together in most recent classifications. There are three living main lineages, variously considered three or, as here, two subfamilies, with the tribe Aglycyderini sometimes considered a distinct subfamily. Other classifications treat the Oxycoryninae as distinct family Oxycorynidae. A prehistoric subfamily only known from Mesozoic fossils are the Eobelinae.[1][2]

References

  1. ^ a b c d e f g A. E. Marvaldi; R. G. Oberprieler; C. H. C. Lyal; T. Bradbury; R. S. Anderson (2006). "Phylogeny of the Oxycoryninae sensu lato (Coleoptera: Belidae) and evolution of host-plant associations". Invertebrate Systematics. 20 (4): 447–476. doi:10.1071/IS05059.
  2. ^ a b Liu Ming, Ren Dong & Shih Chungkun (2006). "A new fossil weevil (Coleoptera, Curculionoidea, Belidae) from the Yixian Formation of western Liaoning, China". Progress in Natural Science. 16 (8): 885–888.

External links

Agathobelus

Agathobelus is a genus of beetles which belong to the family Belidae.

Aglycyderini

Aglycyderini are a tribe of belids, primitive weevils of the family Belidae. Like in other belids, their antennae are straight, not elbowed as in the true weevils (Curculionidae). They occur only on the Pacific Islands and in the Macaronesian region.

Apagobelus

Apagobelus is a genus of beetles which belong to the family Belidae.

Attelabidae

The Attelabidae is a widespread family of weevils. They are among the primitive weevils, because of their straight antennae, which are inserted near the base of the rostrum. The prothorax is much narrower than the base of the elytra on the abdomen. Attelabidae and the related family Rhynchitidae are known commonly as the leaf-rolling weevils. Rhynchitidae may be treated as subfamily Rhychitinae of the Attelabidae.

Some members of this family have long necks and may be called giraffe weevils, particularly Trachelophorus giraffa. A few species are minor agricultural pests. The larvae of Rhynchitinae feed in flower buds, fruits, and terminal shoots, or are leaf miners. The subfamily Attelabinae are the true leaf rollers. The female cuts slits into leaves to deposit her eggs, and rolls that part of the leaf in which the larvae will feed.

Belinae

Belinae are a Gondwanan subfamily of beetles which belong to the belids, primitive weevils of the family Belidae. Like in other belids, their antennae are straight, not elbowed as in the true weevils (Curculionidae). The Belinae make up the bulk of the diversity of living belid genera. They are found in the Australia-New Guinea-New Zealand and South America.

Of the three tribes placed here, the Pachyurini appear to hold the most primitive genera, while the Agnesiotidini might be the most advanced one. The overall delimitation of tribes is not entirely robust though, and particularly the placement of the diverse Belini in respect to the Agnesiotidini is somewhat uncertain. The belids as a whole are of Jurassic origin, and the Belinae must thus date from the Late Jurassic or at most Early Cretaceous, roughly some 150 million years ago.

Caridae

Caridae is a small Gondwanan family of weevils. They are considered part of the primitive weevil group, because they have straight rather than elbowed antennae. The insertion of the antennae on the rostrum cannot be seen from above. Caridae also lack spiracles on abdominal tergites 6 and 7. The prothorax lacks lateral carinae. It has been suggested that the fossil weevil Eccoptarthrus belongs in this family, which would result in a change in the family name (as "Eccoptarthridae" would have seniority); this proposal has been rejected by most coleopterists (e.g.)

They are usually found on trees from the Cupressaceae. The genus, Car, has been found on Callitris, and Caenominurus on Austrocedrus and Pilgerodendron.

Dicordylus

Dicordylus is a genus of beetles which belong to the family Belidae.

Eobelinae

Eobelinae are an extinct beetle subfamily that throve in the late Mesozoic. They belong to the belids or "primitive weevils" of the family Belidae. The Belidae today occur only from the Australia-New Guinea-New Zealand region to Southeast Asia, some Pacific islands, South and Central America and a few locations in Africa. The Eobelidae were more widespread, occurring at least in Central Asia, Spain and Brazil during the Late Jurassic and Early Cretaceous (about 161 to 100 million years ago).

Metrioxenini

Metrioxenini (metrioxenines) are a tribe of belids, primitive weevils of the family Belidae, containing about 30 species. They are only found in two widely separated areas, Southeast Asia extending to Indonesia, and South Africa. In the Paleogene, they were found at least in North America and Europe also, occurring perhaps across the entire Northern Hemisphere.As in other belids, their antennae are straight, not elbowed as in the true weevils (Curculionidae). They are far less characteristic than their presumed closest living relatives, the Aglycyderini. They can be recognized by the sharp-sided rostrum ("snout"). Also, their eyes are bordered by a wide and ridged groove. Metrioxena shows two sharp ribs on each elytron, which are absent in the other genera. These, by contrast, have their tarsal claws fused together at the base (they are unfused in Metrioxena) and grooves on the pygidium which are absent in Metrioxena.

Oxycoryninae

As defined by Pascoe in 1870, "Oxycoryninae" refers to what today is the tribe Oxycorynini.

"Oxycorynidae" redirects here. As defined by Kolbe in 1908, this also refers to the Oxycorynini.

Oxycoryninae are subfamily of primitive weevils of the family Belidae, but sometimes treated as a distinct family Oxycorynidae. Like in other belids, their antennae are straight, not elbowed as in the true weevils (Curculionidae), and their larvae feed on the wood of diseased or dying plants or on deadwood or fruits; they tend to avoid healthy plants.The Oxycoryninae contain a mere 13 living genera altogether, more than half of which are in the tribe Oxycorynini. Of the three tribes recognized here, two are very small but one of these, the Aglycyderini, are often treated as a distinct subfamily. However, they share several traits with other Oxycoryninae, especially with the Metrioxenini (the other minor tribe). The fossil record shows that the three tribes were well distinct by the mid-Paleogene, about 50 million years ago. The belids as a whole are of Jurassic origin, and the Oxycoryninae must thus date from the Late Jurassic or at most Early Cretaceous, roughly some 150 million years ago.

Oxycorynini

Oxycorynini are a tribe of American belids, primitive weevils of the family Belidae. Like in other belids, their antennae are straight, not elbowed as in the true weevils (Curculionidae). In contrast to other Belidae, Oxycorynini larvae feed on flowers or several types of fruit.The Oxycorynini contain 7 genera, the bulk of the subfamily Oxycoryninae. But while they are highly diverse, they are not particularly speciose, with nearly 20 described and a few undescribed species compared to the more than 150 Hawaiian species of Proterhinus of the Aglycyderini.The fossil record shows that the three Oxycoryninae tribes were well distinct by the mid-Paleogene, about 50 million years ago (mya). The belids as a whole are of Jurassic origin, and the Oxycorynini must thus have evolved in the Late Cretaceous or perhaps Paleocene, roughly some 100-60 mya.

Pachyura

Pachyura is a genus of beetles which belong to the family Belidae.

Pachyurinus

Pachyurinus is a genus of beetles which belong to the family Belidae.

Rhinotia

Rhinotia is a genus of beetles which belong to the family Belidae.

Rhinotia haemoptera

Rhinotia haemoptera, the red weevil, is a beetle species in the genus Rhinotia found in Australia. It resembles a fire-coloured beetle (Pyrochroidae) in colour. This insect pest can destroy groves and plantations of coconut and migrate to date palms and other palms, causing economic damage to farmers and landscapers.

The nematode species Heterorhabditis indica has been used effectively against the red weevil.

Rhinotia hemistictus

Rhinotia hemistictus is a species of beetle in the genus Rhinotia of the family Belidae, commonly referred to as the long-nosed weevil, or long nosed weevil. It is found in Australia, is about 1 inch (2.5 cm) long, and is found in wooded lands.

Rhopalotria

Rhopalotria is a genus of cycad weevils in the family of beetles known as Belidae. There are about six described species in Rhopalotria.

Rhopalotria mollis

Rhopalotria mollis is a species of cycad weevil in the family of beetles known as Belidae. It is found in Central America and North America.

Weevil

Weevils are a type of beetle belonging to the superfamily Curculionoidea. They are usually small, less than 6 mm (0.24 in), and herbivorous. About 97,000 species of weevils are known. They belong to several families, with most of them in the family Curculionidae (the true weevils). Some other beetles, although not closely related, bear the name "weevil", such as the biscuit weevil (Stegobium paniceum), which belongs to the family Ptinidae.

Many weevils are considered pests because of their ability to damage and kill crops. The grain or wheat weevil (Sitophilus granarius) damages stored grain. The boll weevil (Anthonomus grandis) attacks cotton crops; it lays its eggs inside cotton balls and the larvae eat their way out. Other weevils are used for biological control of invasive plants.

Some weevils have the ability to fly, such as the rice weevil.One species of weevil, Austroplatypus incompertus, exhibits eusociality, one of the few insects outside the Hymenoptera and the Isoptera to do so.

Extant Coleoptera families

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