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    Red palm weevil

    Damage caused by the Red palm weevil

    The red palm weevil is considered as one of the major pests of date palms and coconuts. Damage to palms and coconuts is mainly caused by the grubs that tunnel into tree trunks and feed internally on the plant tissue. The major symptoms of grub damage include an eccentric growth of crowns, presence of several holes at the base of cut palms, wilting and necrosis of the foliage. In case of severe infestation, red palm weevils can cause complete loss of foliage, rotting of trunks and at the end the death of the trees.

    Facts (show all)

    +Common names
    • Red palm weevil
    +Scientific name
    • Rhynchophorus ferrugineus

    Adults: Adult of red palm weevils are reddish brown in color with a long curved rostrum (snout) and dark black spots on the thorax. Weevils have a long snout with long antennae.

    Eggs: Eggs of red palm weevil are small, white and oval in shape.

    Larvae/Grub: The larvae (grubs) of red palm weevil are white in color with a brown head capsule. Larvae are ‘C’ shaped.

    Pupae: Pupae of red palm weevil are creamy white to brown in color.


    The red palm weevils complete all the four life stages including egg, grub, pupa and adult inside the host plants. Females generally lay eggs in the wounds caused either by their feeding activity or by mechanical cutting of palm trees. Eggs hatch within 4-5 days into small grubs that burrow into palm trees and start feeding on the soft tissue. These grubs develop through 3- 7 stages within a couple of months. Then mature (last instar) grubs built a pupal case (cocoon) from palm fibers within the palm frond and pupate inside the cocoon. Adults of red palm weevil emerge from pupae within 15- 20 days. Females lay eggs and life cycle continues.

    + Organic Control of the Red palm weevil
    • Following beneficial bugs are used for organic control of the Red palm weevil
    +Beneficial Nematodes
    • Heterorhabditis bacteriophora
    • Steinernema carpocapsae

    Click each of the following beneficial nematodes for more information on their rates and methods of applications for the effective control of the Red palm weevil.

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