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Facts About Red Palm Weevil

A Brief History of The Red Palm Weevil

“It is all about control,” palm specialist Pedro Seromenho of Naturjardins explains.
“If owners watch out for warning signs, there is nearly always the chance of full recovery. But we have to get to the tree in time...”

The Red Palm Weevil (Latin name: Rhynchophorus ferrugineus) originated in South-east Asia and Melanesia more than a century ago. It first arrived in Southern Europe in the 1980s – discovering the delights of two ubiquitous date palm species, Phoenix canariensis and Phoenix dactylifera, which it seems to prefer over all the other potential host palms.

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Host Palms

The weevil’s “favourite trees” are Phoenix canariensis (Canary Island Date Palm) and Phoenix dactylifera (Date Palm) – but they’ll attack other palms too. Environmentalist Antonio Lambe has become quite an expert on Red Palm Weevil in the Algarve – even advising his local Silves Town Council on how to tackle the pest, and helping scientists in the US build up a DNA database on the weevil as it progresses across the globe.

Lambe has managed to identify a total of 40 species that can be infected by the beetle, as well as two non-palm hosts. The list, so far, is as follows, but he tells us, it is liable to grow over time:

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Weevil Life Cycle

Red Palm Weevil pupaInfestations within single palm trees can manifest over several generations until they reach hundreds of Weevils. Weevils will establish their home when there is sufficient live plant material on a palm, and feed and lay their eggs on it. Once they have exhausted the food source, the adults will disperse to find new plants to infect. ·Red Palm Weevils can be present on a palm all year round, although the adult weevils are more active during the warm summer months.

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Some Informative Links