Green nettle weevil

Another new identification for the reserve; a green nettle weevil (Phyllobius pomaceus) reported in May this year by Charles Land.

Green nettle weevils are actually black but with a covering of hair-like, metallic, green or blue scales: green in the case of the female but the males have a blueish sheen. The scales rub off quite easily, revealing the ground colour, and older individuals can appear much darker. The male of the copulating pair [2] in the picture below appears to have rubbed the scales from the centre of the female’s back.

Header image: green nettle weevil by Frank Vassen (CC BY 2.0) flickr.com

The adult is anywhere between seven and ten millimetres long, its elytra are ridged and its femora (the section of an insect’s legs closest to its thorax) have distinctive, forward-pointing hooks.

Look for this species in our nettle beds [1], where the adults feed. The larvae have a much wider range of food plants, but meadowsweet [3], down by the tributary stream, is a favourite.

Conservation status: common and widespread in England and Wales.

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