Hoop Pine Weevil (Vanapa oberthuri)

Pricing: Dead (spread, as pictured): $40
Geographic Range: New Guinea
View: Top View
Size: Length: 7 cm

Image Copyright 2003
Barbara Strnadova

Vanapa oberthuri is confined to the island of New Guinea where it spends its whole life on host trees - mostly the Hoop Pine (Araucaria cunninghamii), but it has also been known to feed on Klinkii (Araucaria hunsteinii). Basically a beetle of dry rainforest areas, there has been concern that this species, a pest of Hoop Pine plantations in it's native home, will somehow make it's way to northeastern Australia and establish itself as a pest there. Outbreaks of V. oberthuri often follow pruning operations, as the females prefer to lay their eggs on the margins of resin exuding from tree wounds. If no resin is present, the eggs are laid under loose bark or else directly on the trees outer bark and then covered with a cemented layer of masticated bark. The oviposition sites are prepared with the help of the strong rostrum. Larvae emerge 10 days after oviposition, quickly excavating a tunnel into the outer bark. After about six weeks, when the larvae have reached the third instar, they bore deeper into the tree to feed on the more fibrous inner bark and wood. After approximately five months the larvae pupate in a pupal chamber that is plugged with slivers of wood. The pupal stage takes about one month. The newly hatched adults stay for another two to four weeks in the pupal chamber before they chew their way outside through an emergence hole that has a diameter of about 1 cm. The life span of an adult is between six to eight weeks. During that time they feed on the green bark of pine twigs.