Oak Leaf Rolling Weevil

Meet Homoeolabus analis, the oak leaf rolling weevil! These attractive little weevils (I love weevils) with black bodies and red elytra are named for their habit of rolling up oak leaves (a process called nidification — the rolls themselves are called nidi, singular: nidus) to protect their eggs and larvae. It’s actually a pretty complex behavior, and it’s clearly genetically programmed — the adults do not perform parental care other than creating this amazing little origami “purse” for their offspring.

Each nidus usually contains just one egg (the female may lay a couple if leaves are in short supply), and takes about two hours to make. A female may lay 30 eggs during her lifetime.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *