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Otiorhynchus sulcatus (vine weevil)


  • Last modified
  • 11 October 2017
  • Datasheet Type(s)
  • Pest
  • Invasive Species
  • Preferred Scientific Name
  • Otiorhynchus sulcatus
  • Preferred Common Name
  • vine weevil
  • Taxonomic Tree
  • Domain: Eukaryota
  •   Kingdom: Metazoa
  •     Phylum: Arthropoda
  •       Subphylum: Uniramia
  •         Class: Insecta

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Colour illustration of leaf damage caused by adult O. sulcatus next to crescent-shaped larva and adult.
TitleDamaged leaf, larva and adult
CaptionColour illustration of leaf damage caused by adult O. sulcatus next to crescent-shaped larva and adult.
Colour illustration of leaf damage caused by adult O. sulcatus next to crescent-shaped larva and adult.
Damaged leaf, larva and adultColour illustration of leaf damage caused by adult O. sulcatus next to crescent-shaped larva and adult.AgrEvo


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Preferred Scientific Name

  • Otiorhynchus sulcatus (Fabricius, 1775)

Preferred Common Name

  • vine weevil

Other Scientific Names

  • Brachyrhinus sulcatus Fabricius
  • Curculio sulcatus Fabricius, 1775
  • Otiorhynchus linearis Stierlin, 1861

International Common Names

  • English: black vine weevil; cyclamen weevil; weevil, black vine; weevil, cyclamen; weevil, European strawberry
  • Spanish: escarbajito de la vid; gorgojo de la uva; gorgojo de la vid
  • French: charançon noir de la vigne; otiorrhynque de la vigne; otiorrhynque sillone

Local Common Names

  • Denmark: væksthussnudebille
  • Finland: uurrekorvakärsäkäs
  • Germany: Ruessler, Gefurchter Dickmaul-; Ruessler, Gefurchter Lappen-
  • Italy: oziorrinco della vite
  • Netherlands: Lapsnuittor, gegroefde; Taxuskever
  • Norway: veksthussnutebille
  • Sweden: farad öronvivel
  • Turkey: bag maymuncugu

EPPO code

  • OTIOSU (Otiorhynchus sulcatus)

Taxonomic Tree

Top of page
  • Domain: Eukaryota
  •     Kingdom: Metazoa
  •         Phylum: Arthropoda
  •             Subphylum: Uniramia
  •                 Class: Insecta
  •                     Order: Coleoptera
  •                         Family: Curculionidae
  •                             Genus: Otiorhynchus
  •                                 Species: Otiorhynchus sulcatus


Top of page Eggs

The egg was described by Balachowsky (1963), Scherf (1964) and May (1994). It is subspherical, ca 1 mm in diameter, at first pearly-white, gradually becoming brown and finally black.


The larva was described by Emden (1952) and described and figured by Anderson (1987), Lee and Morimoto (1988) and May (1994).

Body white, crescent-shaped, widest near thorax, tapered posteriorly; skin asperities semi-globular with only a more or less short, spinous point or spicule, especially on dorsal folds; with some prominent setae on each segment; body length 9.0-10.5 mm. Head free, subdepressed, emarginate posteriorly, widest behind middle; testaceous to pale ferruginous, a longitudinal strip over seta des 1 paler, anterior margin of head narrowly chestnut-brown, tentorial rib brown, mandibles bidentate apically, mandibular scrobe broadly and suffusedly paler; endocarina absent; pigmented ocellar spots small, but rather distinct; labium with premental sclerite with proximal margin 'Y'-shaped; head width 1.52-1.82 mm. Pronotum transverse with smooth rectangular plate. Abdominal segments each with 3 dorsal folds; spiracles on abdominal segments 1-8, lateral, bicameral. Anus terminal with 4 lobes.

Emden (1952) provided a key to the larvae of Otiorhynchus species, including sulcatus.


The pupa was briefly described and figured by Scherf (1964) and May (1994). It is yellowish-white, with a maximum length of 10 mm and width at the pronotum of 2.6 mm. The urogomphi are relatively short and curved mesad.


Brown black, inconspicuous elytral pubescence varied with small patches of very slender squamiform yellow or brown scales, sometimes with metallic reflection; antennae and legs black, tarsi dark brown. Body length 7-11 mm. Head two times wider than long, with temples short and the borders parallel; rostrum slightly longer than wide, dilated apically with 2 dorsal carinae which unite to form an elongate median depression; antennal funicle elongate with segment 2 slightly longer than 1, segment 7 longer than wide, club elongate oval. Pronotum with disc densely covered with shining unisetate granules; without vibrissae laterally on anterior margin. Elytra oval, greatest width between anterior quarter to third, strongly punctate-striate, punctures separated by shining unisetate granules, interstices convex and irregularly tuberculate. Femora unidentate, metafemora with tooth on lower surface somewhat before apex; tarsal claws paired, free.

Joy (1932) and Morris (1997) provided keys to the Otiorhynchus species of the UK, whilst Hoffmann (1950) gave a key to the French species.


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O. sulcatus was first detected in Hawaii, USA, at Kokee State Park on the island of Kauai, in March and April 1976 (Anon., 1976).

O. sulcatus was first found in Japan in 1981 in Sunto Gun, Shizuoka Prefecture (Masaki et al., 1984).

Records of O. sulcatus in Colombia (Seymour et al., 1985; EPPO, 2009) published in previous versions of the Compendium are based on an interception record which is considered invalid. O. sulcatus has not been recorded in Colombia by Barrigna-Tuñón (2013) or the Museum of Entomology, University of Valle, Colombia, and has not been reported in Colombia by the Institute of Natural Sciences, National University of Colombia. 

Hosts/Species Affected

Top of page Scherf (1964) listed Fragaria vesca, Saxifraga sp., Taxus baccata, Rudbeckia laciniata, Cyclamen persicum and Vitis vinifera as food plants of O. sulcatus.

The reproductive success of O. sulcatus fed different foliar diets was compared to evaluate the suitability of known and potential hosts for adults. Foliar diets, arranged in order of decreasing fecundity, were Taxus cuspidata, T. canadensis, Kalmia latifolia and Cornus florida. Fecundity and length of preoviposition period were negatively correlated, indicating that the latter could be used to forecast potential fecundity (Maier, 1981).

In Japan, of 108 candidate plant species in 49 families, the adults of O. sulcatus fed on the leaves of 101 species, in 46 families. In tests with 68 candidate species in 29 families, the larvae fed on the roots of 55 species in 24 families. Of these, 90 species in 45 families are new food-plant records for the adults and 46 species in 21 families are new food-plant records for the larvae. The results indicated that the preferred food-plants of both adults and larvae are in the family Rosaceae (Masaki et al., 1984).

Food preferences of O. sulcatus adults were studied in the laboratory at LD 16:8 with corresponding temperatures of 23 and 17°C and 80% RH, using five plant species (Fragaria grandiflora, Chenopodium album, Senecio vulgaris, Rhododendron ponticum and Fuchsia spp.). R. ponticum was the least preferred plant, while strawberry was the most preferred (Gembauffe et al., 1990).

Host Plants and Other Plants Affected

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Plant nameFamilyContext
Begonia cucullata var. hookeri (Perpetual begonia)BegoniaceaeOther
Camellia japonica (camellia)TheaceaeOther
Capsella bursa-pastoris (shepherd's purse)BrassicaceaeOther
Chenopodium album (fat hen)ChenopodiaceaeWild host
Chrysanthemum (daisy)AsteraceaeOther
Cissus rhombifolia (grape ivy)VitaceaeOther
Cornus florida (Flowering dogwood)CornaceaeOther
Cotoneaster bullatusRosaceaeOther
Cyclamen persicum (cyclamens)PrimulaceaeMain
Erica (heaths)EricaceaeOther
Euonymus (spindle trees)SalaciaOther
Euonymus alatus (winged spindle)SalaciaOther
Euonymus fortunei (wintercreeper)SalaciaOther
Fragaria (strawberry)RosaceaeMain
Fragaria ananassa (strawberry)RosaceaeOther
Fragaria vesca (wild strawberry)RosaceaeOther
Gaultheria shallon (salal)EricaceaeOther
Gerbera (Barbeton daisy)AsteraceaeOther
Hedera (Ivy)AraliaceaeOther
Humulus lupulus (hop)CannabaceaeOther
Impatiens (balsam)BalsaminaceaeOther
Juniperus horizontalis (creeping juniper)CupressaceaeOther
Kalmia latifolia (Mountain laurel)EricaceaeOther
Ligustrum vulgare (common privet)OleaceaeOther
Liquidambar styraciflua (Sweet gum)HamamelidaceaeOther
Parthenocissus tricuspidata (Boston ivy)VitaceaeOther
Picea pungens (blue spruce)PinaceaeOther
Pinus contorta (lodgepole pine)PinaceaeOther
Populus (poplars)SalicaceaeOther
Primula (Primrose)PrimulaceaeOther
Primula polyanthaPrimulaceaeOther
Prunus laurocerasus (cherry laurel)Other
Rhododendron (Azalea)EricaceaeOther
Rhododendron catawbienseEricaceaeOther
Rhododendron ponticum (rhododendron)EricaceaeOther
Rhododendron simsii (Sim's azalea)EricaceaeOther
Rosa (roses)RosaceaeOther
Rubus idaeus (raspberry)RosaceaeOther
Rudbeckia laciniata (cutleaf coneflower)AsteraceaeOther
Sansevieria trifasciata (mother-in-law’s tongue)AgavaceaeOther
Saxifraga (saxifrage)SaxifragaceaeOther
Schefflera (umbrella tree)AraliaceaeOther
Sedum (stonecrop)CrassulaceaeOther
Sonchus oleraceus (common sowthistle)AsteraceaeOther
Taraxacum officinale complex (dandelion)AsteraceaeWild host
Taxus (yew)TaxaceaeOther
Taxus baccata (English yew)TaxaceaeOther
Taxus cuspidata (Japanese yew)TaxaceaeOther
Taxus mediaTaxaceaeOther
Thuja occidentalis (Eastern white cedar)CupressaceaeOther
Thuja plicata (western redcedar)CupressaceaeOther
Trifolium repens (white clover)FabaceaeOther
Tsuga canadensis (eastern hemlock)PinaceaeOther
Vaccinium (blueberries)EricaceaeOther
Viola (violet)ViolaceaeOther
Vitis (grape)VitaceaeOther
Vitis vinifera (grapevine)VitaceaeMain

Growth Stages

Top of page Flowering stage, Fruiting stage, Vegetative growing stage


Top of page In south-central Washington, USA, adults of O. sulcatus fed on the berry pedicels and cluster stems of Concord grapes (Cone, 1963).

In central Washington, USA, the larvae of O. sulcatus fed on the roots of Concord grapes, first on the phloem tissue, girdling the roots, but the xylem was left intact, except in cases of severe injury (Cone, 1968).

In Berlin, Germany, O. sulcatus larval damage to the roots of Sansevieria trifasciata did not at first result in the visible withering of the leaves noticed on less sturdy plants, but it was severe (Skadow and Karl, 1967).

In Hungary, the adults of O. sulcatus attacked the flowers of Rhododendron simsii and Gerbera sp. leaving spots of excreta on them, but the leaves remained intact (Tusnadi and Merkl, 1985).

After hatching, the larvae move to the roots of strawberry, killing the plants if they attack the main root just below the soil surface (Evenhuis, 1978).

The larvae attack the collar and roots and the adults the leaves and flowers in Italy (Lozzia, 1983).

List of Symptoms/Signs

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  • premature drop


  • external feeding
  • frass visible


  • external feeding


  • external feeding

Whole plant

  • external feeding
  • plant dead; dieback

Biology and Ecology

Top of page According to Morris (1997), O. sulcatus is mainly ground-living, though it is occasionally found on herbaceous vegetation, less frequently on trees.

It is parthenogenetic over most of its range, although bisexual races are known from Italy (Morris, 1997).

In Denmark, the females first appear in June, but do not become numerous until July. They feed on the leaves of strawberry and begin to oviposit after 4-6 days, laying several hundred eggs each over a period. The larvae hatch in 1-3 weeks according to temperature and feed on small roots in the soil, so that they are hard to detect at first. They overwinter and cause the major part of the damage in April-May of the next year, when the whole root system of strawberry plants may be destroyed. They pupate between late May and the end of June. At this time, old adults from the previous year are still present and laying eggs, but they are less prolific than adults of the new generation. Development is very dependent on temperature, and plastic covers or other mulches can speed it up by a month or more, and in heated greenhouse conditions oviposition may continue throughout the year (Esberg, 1977).

In the Lago Maggiore district of Italy, O. sulcatus has one generation a year, but development times varied greatly with temperature and were different in field and greenhouse crops. In the field, eggs were present from mid-April to early June, larvae from late May to early October, pupae from late September to the end of November, and adults (which overwintered) from the beginning of November to mid-April. The main larval damage occurred in the summer in the field, and in the winter in the greenhouse (Lozzia, 1983).

The biology of O. sulcatus in a commercial vineyard in coastal California, USA, was studied in 1984-86. Adult emergence began in the first week of April and continued until early July, with peaks in mid- to late May, but the pattern differed from year to year. Oviposition began in mid-May and continued for 6-8 weeks (Phillips, 1989).

The biology of O. sulcatus was studied in the laboratory at 20-22°C and LD 16:8 on strawberry leaves. Eggs were transferred to Impatiens plants at 20°C and LD 14:10. The time from pupation to adult emergence was 14.10 days at 20°C and newly emerged adults remained in the pupal cells for 2-5 days following emergence. The pre-oviposition period lasted 5-23 weeks, with the majority (94%) of adults beginning oviposition 5-8 weeks after emergence. The 32 adults which survived the first weeks after emergence had a mean longevity of 46.5 weeks. Mean fecundity was 830 eggs/adult, with a viability of 80.8%. Two distinct egg-laying cycles were observed: the first extended from late spring to October and the second from late November until the following summer. A third cycle extending into the spring of the final year was also indicated (Moorhouse et al., 1992).

In Idaho, USA, although some adults survived winter conditions, O. sulcatus overwintered primarily as developing larvae associated with hop root systems 5-50 cm deep in the soil. Pupation began in mid-April with soil temperatures of 15-17°C and concluded in mid- to late April. Adult emergence began in early May and was complete by late May to early June in 1986-88. The preoviposition period averaged 26 days in the field. The mean number of eggs laid per adult female was 290 (with a range of 22-1230). Eggs hatched in 12-22 days at 21°C (Baird et al., 1992).

In Japan, the development of O. sulcatus was investigated at constant temperatures of 12, 15, 18, 21 and 26°C. The development threshold temperatures for eggs, larvae plus prepupae, pupae, and the preoviposition period were 6.32, 2.45, 6.09 and 8.44°C, respectively. The thermal constants for eggs, larvae plus prepupae, pupae and the preoviposition period were 186.43, 2061.93, 182.85 and 571.10 day-degrees C, respectively. The rate of development from the first to the fifth larval instar was greater at higher temperatures, but development of the sixth and seventh instars was slower at higher temperatures. The developmental zero of the first to fifth instars was -0.66, -0.40, 1.66, 2.83 and 2.40°C, respectively. Almost all larvae pupated at temperatures between 12 and 21°C, but at 24 and 26°C, only one larva pupated. Larvae moulted 4-5 times at 15°C, 5-6 times at 18 and 21°C, 6-8 times at 24°C, and 6-9 times at 26°C (Masaki and Ohto, 1995). In Belgium, the time of appearance of O. sulcatus varied from year to year and was largely dependent on weather conditions (temperature) and type of culture (open field, container culture or greenhouse) (Casteels et al., 1995).

The six larval instars of O. sulcatus completed development from eggs inoculated onto container-grown rhododendrons in 84 days when grown indoors at 18-22°C or 211 days outdoors in Oregon, USA. Larval mortality was greatest during instars I-III. During instars IV-VI, mortality increased with increasing insect density. Underground stem tissue was fed on exclusively by instars IV-VI, and the amount of tissue removed increased with larval density (la Lone and Clarke, 1981).

Natural enemies

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Natural enemyTypeLife stagesSpecificityReferencesBiological control inBiological control on
Beauveria bassiana Pathogen Larvae New Zealand
Beauveria brongniartii Pathogen
Heterorhabditis bacteriophora Parasite New Zealand
Heterorhabditis heliothidis Parasite Washington
Metarhizium anisopliae Pathogen Adults/Larvae/Pupae
Metarhizium flavoviride Pathogen Larvae/Pupae
Paecilomyces farinosus Pathogen
Paecilomyces fumosoroseus Pathogen Adults/Larvae
Pandelleia otiorrhynchi Parasite Adults
Pandelleia sexpunctata Parasite Adults
Steinernema carpocapsae Parasite
Steinernema feltiae Parasite
Steinernema glaseri Parasite
Tetramorium caespitum Predator

Notes on Natural Enemies

Top of page Schwenke (1974) reported the tachinid Pandelleia otiorhynchi from O. sulcatus.

In western France, three species of the nematode order Rhabditida, one species of bacterium (Bacillus cereus) and five species of Deuteromycete (Metarhizium flavoviride, M. anisopliae, Paecilomyces fumosoroseus, Beauveria bassiana and B. brongniartii) were isolated from O. sulcatus. M. anisopliae caused the highest rate of mortality (28%) by natural infection (Marchal, 1977).

In the Netherlands, comparative studies of O. sulcatus and its predators in abandoned strawberry fields and in fields treated with insecticides indicated that carabid adults and larvae (notably those of Bembidion ustulatum which fed on eggs) were active predators, but were unable to exert effective control in treated fields (Evenhuis, 1982).

B. bassiana was isolated from the adults of O. sulcatus in Japan (Saito and Ikeda, 1983).

Detection and Inspection

Top of page Look at the foliage of plants for signs of adult damage. The adults eat irregularly-shaped notches from the leaf margin. Feeding takes place at night, but the small black weevils may be seen during the daytime in the leaf litter or some other dark place. Dig up wilting plants or tip plants out of pots, to find small, creamy-white, curved, legless larvae with pale-brown heads, feeding at the roots, or burrowing into the corm if this is present.