A new article written by Miguel Matos Andrade highlights the first sightings of the Agave Weevil Scyphophorus acupunctatus in Porto Santo, which is said to be decimating two specific types of ornamental succulents.
The article, “Scyphophorus acupunctatus Gyllenhal, 1838 (Coleoptera: Dryophthoridae) in the Madeiran archipelago. A new biological control species or a new invasive species?” Is published in German WEEVILnews Magazine, and discusses the arrival of the Agave Weevil in Porto Santo. The hypothesis is that this new species of weevil can be used as a biological pest control, however, due to the danger it represents to Dragon Trees, which are both endemic to the archipelago and rare, the author states that the upmost control most be taken to ensure that they do not adversely affect endemic species.
Year on year, the number of different weevil species found in Madeira and Porto Santo increases due to people, and the transportation of goods. Most notable are the Palm weevil (Rhynchophorus ferrugineus), Citrus weevil (Diaprepes abbreviatus) which is endemic to the Caribbean, and now S. acupunctatus.
What is worrying, is that these imported weevils cause havoc to local ecosystems, are invasive, and threaten already fragile and endangered plant species.
Photo: Henry Lai – Unsplash