Invasive Species Compendium

Detailed coverage of invasive species threatening livelihoods and the environment worldwide

Abstract

Metamasius callizona (Chevrolat) (Coleoptera: Curculionidae), an immigrant pest, destroys bromeliads in Florida.

Abstract

Metamasius callizona, a previously obscure curculionid known from Mexico, Guatemala and Panama, was discovered in Florida in 1989. In Mexico and Florida the larvae mine meristemmatic tissue and flower-stalks of epiphytic Tillandsia bromeliads [Bromeliaceae], which they kill. In Florida, populations of T. utriculata are being decimated; the curculionids also mine and kill introduced ornamental bromeliads of 12 other genera, including Ananas. Fruits of A. comosus (pineapple) were destroyed. Where they occurred in southern Florida, populations of the curculionid were much greater than could be found in Mexico in July 1992. In Florida, M. callizona seemed to breed throughout the year. Females deposited eggs singly into slits cut in leaf bases of the host plants. Fully-grown larvae pupated in a fibrous cocoon, and development time from oviposition to adult was approximately 11 weeks in the laboratory. No insect parasitoids of the weevil have been found, but Beauveria bassiana was found as a pathogen in Mexico.