Phyllobius roboretanus

Description

A smallish green weevil about 5 mm in length, sometimes called the Small Green Nettle Weevil. Most Phyllobius weevils have a prominent tooth on the underside of the femora, but this is not the case with Phyllobius roboretanus. It also has a very steep, almost vertical, rear end to the elytra. It has round scales and dark femora.

Similar Species

This species is quite similar to P. virideaeris, which is another Phyllobius without the femoral tooth (the third is P. viridicollis but this lacks scales and appears black), but they differ on the underside. P. roboretanus only has a thin covering of fine scales, with much of the underlying surface visible. In P. virideaeris the underside is densely coated with round scales, the same as the upperside. P. roboretanus also appears rather earlier in the year. However the easiest way to separate them is by the steepness of the elytra at the posterior end - this is very steep in P. roboretanus but shallow in P. virideaeris.

See ID Aids below.

Identification difficulty
Identification aids

Phyllobius is a genus of broad-nosed weevils that are commonly found on low herbage and in trees during spring and summer. Most are covered in metallic green scales that give them a very attractive appearance. There are 9 species and most look similar but they can be separated by carefully comparing the range of features shown in the table below, either under a binocular microscope or with a x20 hand-lens.

Phyllobius weevils can be distinguished from the similar genus Polydrusus by looking where the antennae emerge from the rostrum. In Phyllobius the antennae emerge from the top whilst in Polydrusus they are positioned at the side. When looking directly down on the beetle it is usually clear to see.

phyllobius ID

 

Habitat

Often in foliage of trees and bushes.

When to see it

Appears from late April onwards.

UK Status

Widespread and quite common in much of England and Wales.

VC55 Status

Fairly common in Leicestershire and Rutland. There were a total of 73 VC55 records for this species up to March 2015.

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Leicestershire & Rutland Map

MAP KEY:

Yellow squares = NBN records (all known data)
Coloured circles = NatureSpot records: 2020+ | 2015-2019 | pre-2015

UK Map