Pest Alerts - Myllocerus Undatus Marshall

Pest Alert

Myllocerus undatus Marshall, a weevil new to the Western Hemisphere

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Michael C. Thomas, Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, Division of Plant Industry

Weevils recently submitted from Broward County for identification are Myllocerus undatus Marshall, a native of Sri Lanka. They were identified by Dr. C.W. O'Brien of Florida A&M University. As the weevils have been collected from multiple localities and some were newly emerged, it is evident that this species is established in southeastern Florida from Homestead in the south to Boca Raton in the north.

There is virtually no information on this species in the literature besides the original description. Preliminary surveys by Division of Plant Industry inspectors and data enclosed with the original series of specimens suggest this weevil has an extremely broad adult host range. Thus far Florida records include 68 hosts as follows:

a palm, Veitchia sp. (Palmae); akee, Blighia sapida K. Koenig (Sapindaceae); areca palm, Dypsis lutescens (H. Wendl.) Beentje & J. Dransf. (Palmae); Australian brush-cherry, Syzygium paniculatum Gaertn. (Myrtaceae); beeftree, Guapira discolor (Spreng.) Little (Nyctaginaceae); black-olive, Bucida buceras L. (Combretaceae); bottlebrush, Callistemon sp. (Myrtaceae); Burmese fishtail palm, Caryota mitis Lour. (Palmae); buttonwood, Conocarpus erectus L. (Combretaceae); calamondin, Xcitrafortunella microcarpa (Rutaceae); carrotwood, Cupaniopsis anacardiodes (A. Rich.) Radlk. (Anacardiaceae); cashew, Anacardium occidentale L. (Anacardiaceae); citrus, Citrus sp. (Rutaceae); cocoplum, Chrysobalanus icaco L. (Chrysobalanaceae); copper leaf plant, Acalypha wilkesiana (Euphorbiacea); crepe myrtle, Lagerstroemia indica L. (Lythraceae); dahoon holly, Ilex cassine L. (Aquifoliaceae); earleaf acacia, Acacia auriculiformis A. Cunn ex Benth. (Leguminosae); erythrina, Erythrina sp. (Leguminosae); ficus, Ficus sp. (Moraceae); Florida trema, Trema micranthum (L.) Blume (Ulmaceae); glossy shower, Senna surattensis (Burm. f.) Irwin & Barneby (Leguminosae); golden dewdrops, Duranta erecta L. (Verbenaceae); grapefruit, Citrus x paradisi Macfad. (Rutaceae); hackberry, Celtis laevigata Willd. (Ulmaceae); hibiscus, Hibiscus rosa-sinensis L. (Malvaceae); Hong Kong orchid tree, Bauhinia x blakeana S.T. Dunn (Leguminosae); jaboticaba, Myrciaria cauliflora (DC.) O. Berg (Myrtaceae); jambolan plum, Syzygium cuminii (L.) Skeels (Myrtaceae); lantana, Lantana camara L. (Verbenaceae); laurel oak, Quercus laurifolia Michx. (Fagaceae); live oak, Quercus virginiana L. (Fagaceae); longan, Dimocarpus longan Lour. (Sapindaceae); loquat, Eriobotrya japonica Lindl. (Rosaceae); lychee, Litchi sinensis Sonn. (Sapindaceae); mahoe, Hibiscus tiliaceus L. (Malvaceae); mahogany, Swietenia mahagoni (L.) Jacq. (Meliaceae); mamey sapote, Pouteria sapota (Jacq.) H. E. Moore & Stearn (Sapotaceae); mango, Mangifera indica L. (Anacardiaceae); muscadine, Vitis rotundifolia Michx. (Vitaceae); no common name, Tetrastigma sp. (Vitaceae); orange jasmine, Murraya paniculata (L.) Jack (Rutaceae); orchid tree, Bauhinia sp. (Leguminosae); oriental arborvitae, Platycladus orientalis (Cupressaceae); passionflower, Passiflora sp. (Passifloraceae); peach, Prunus persica (L.) Ratsch. (Rosaceae); pigeon plum, Coccoloba diversifolia Jacq. (Polygonaceae); plumbago, Plumbago auriculata Lam. (Plumbaginaceae); pongam, Pongamia pinnata (L.) Pierre (Leguminosae); powderpuff, Calliandra haematocephala Hassk. (Leguminosae); pygmy date palm, Phoenix roebelenii O'Brien (Palmae); red maple, Acer rubrum L. (Aceraceae); red silk-cotton tree, Bombax ceiba L. (Bombacaceae); rouge plant, Rivina humilis L. (Phytolaccaceae); salt bush, Baccharis halimifolia L. (Compositae); seagrape, Coccoloba uvifera (L.) L. (Polygonaceae); shrubby false buttonweed, Spermacoce verticillata L. (Rubiaceae); Spanish lime, Melicoccus bijugatus Jacq. (Sapindaceae); spinach, Spinacia oleracea L. (Chenopodiaceae); strangler fig, Ficus aurea L. (Moraceae); Surinam cherry, Eugenia uniflora L. (Myrtaceae); tropical almond, Terminalia catappa L. (Myrtaceae); Turk's cap, Malvaviscus penduliflorus DC. (Malvaceae); upland cotton, Gossypium hirsutum L. (Malvaceae); water chestnut, Pachira aquatica Aubl. (Bombacaceae); white mulberry, Morus alba L. (Moraceae); wild tamarind, Lysiloma latisiliquum Benth. (Leguminosae); woman's tongue, Albizia lebbeck (L.) Benth. (Leguminosae).

The weevil is superficially similar to the native Artipus floridanus Horn in size at 7-8 mm long, and in its general whitish-grey coloration. However, it differs in many details, the most conspicuous of which is the dark mottling of the upper surface and the yellowish head. All the femora are spined in M. undatus, as opposed to A. floridanus, in which none of the femora are spined. Compare figures of the two species below.

Surveys are ongoing to delimit the extent of the infestation. Suspect weevils should be sent in alcohol to Division of Plant Industry, Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, Post Office Box 147100, Gainesville, Florida 32614-7100.

To view larger images double click over photos.

Exotic myllocerus undatus marshall weevil on almond leaf
Myllocerus undatus Marshall, an exotic weevil newly established in south Florida, on tropical almond.
Loquat damaged by M undatus

 Damage by M. undatus on loquat (Eriobotrya japonica)

Damage to crepe myrtle by M. undatus

 Damage by M. undatus on crepe myrtle (Lagerstroemia sp.)

Lateral view of m. undatus
M. undatus, lateral view
Dorsal view of m. undatus
M. undatus, dorsal view
Hind femur of m. undatus, note spines
M. undatus, hind femur, note spines
Lateral view of A. floridanus
A. floridanus, lateral view
Dorsal view of A. floridanus
A. floridanus, dorsal view
Hind femur of A floridanus no spines
A. floridanus, hind femur, note lack of spines

Photographs by Jeffrey Lotz, Susan Halbert and Paul Skelly, FDACS/DPI