Landcare Research - Manaaki Whenua

Landcare-Research -Manaaki Whenua

FNZ 39 - Molytini (Insecta: Coleoptera: Curculionidae: Molytinae) - Introduction

Craw, RC 1999. Molytini (Insecta: Coleoptera: Curculionidae: Molytinae). Fauna of New Zealand 39, 68 pages.
( ISSN 0111-5383 (print), ; no. 39. ISBN 0-478-09325-X (print), ). Published 4 Feb 1999


New Zealand weevils assigned to the tribe Molytini (= Liparini) comprise some of our largest beetles, and some species are among the largest in the tribe. They are conspicuous members of insular, montane, subalpine, and alpine communities. Twenty species in two genera - Lyperobius Pascoe, 1876 and Hadramphus Broun, 1911 - are recognised in this study, but further undescribed species may occur, particularly in the northern half of the South Island. Although they are popularly and frequently known as 'giant weevils', this term was originally coined (in a New Zealand context) as a collective common name for the large subantarctic species of adelognathous (i.e., broad-nosed) weevils at present placed in the genera Heterexis Broun and Oclandius Blanchard (Hudson 1934). Spear-grass weevil (for all species of Lyperobius), coxella weevil (for Hadramphus spinipennis), karo weevil (for H. pittospori), and knobbled weevil (for H. stilbocarpae) are more accurate common names, and have been used in recent popular treatments (e.g., Meads 1990, Foord 1992). Previous systematic studies of New Zealand Molytini have been isolated descriptions of genera and species (Pascoe 1876, 1877; Broun 1881, 1886, 1911, 1914, 1917; Kuschel 1971, 1987). Larvae and pupae of some species have been described (May 1971, 1981, 1987a, 1993). Bull (1967) provided a detailed study of the morphology, life history, and biology of L. huttoni. The present study is based on examination of more than 1300 adult specimens.

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