Emerging Pest Alerts

Rhynchophorus ferrugineus (Oliver)

Scientific Name:
Rhynchophorus ferrugineus
Common Name:
red palm weevil
Update on the spread of red palm weevil, Rhynchophorus ferrugineus - Found in Curacao, Dutch Antilles

Significance: The red palm weevil, Rhynchophorus ferrugineus, was found on the island of Curacao in the Dutch Antilles, marking the first record of this pest in the western hemisphere. The pest is suspected to have arrived through the movement of date palms used for landscaping.

Rhynchophorus ferrugineus causes significant damage to a wide variety of palm species including Phoenix dactylifera (date palm), Cocos nucifera (coconut palm), Elaeis guineensis (oil palm), and Metroxylon sagu (sago palm). This beetle originates from southern Asia and Melanesia, and has been spreading westward since the 1980s (Ferry & Gómez, 2002). Larvae feed on soft tissues and terminal buds of hosts and with serious infestations can cause plant death. In February 2007, we reported detections of this weevil in France, Greece, and Italy from both nurseries and public and private gardens (EPPO, 2006; http://www.pestalert.org/viewNewsAlert.cfm?naid=38&keyword=weevil).


Amigoe.com. 2009. Beetle very harmful to date palms. January 26, 2009. http://www.amigoe.com/artman/publish/artikel_51993.php

EPPO Reporting Service 2006, No. 11, pp 5-6. European and Mediterranean Plant Protection Organization.

Ferry & Gómez. 2002. The red palm weevil in the Mediterranean. Vol. 46, No 4, Palms (formerly Principes), Journal of the International Palm Society. Available online: http://www.palms.org/palmsjournal/2002/redweevil.htm   Related Documents: News article for red palm weevil    red palm weevil.pdf