Weevil Not Evil

Yellow poplar weevil on my window, 24 June 2022 (photo by Kate St. John)

30 June 2022

It’s that time of year again when yellow poplar weevils come out en masse for their courtship flight. I had a hint that they’d “bloomed” when I saw one on my window on 24 June. Today there are more.

This week they were clearly present when I walked through Schenley Park. I brushed off one that landed on my shirt while I watched northern rough-winged swallows wheeling overhead. Were the swallows eating flying weevils or something else?

Billbug on black locust, Schenley Park, 8 June 2018 (photo by Kate St. John)
Yellow poplar weevil on black locust, Schenley Park, 8 June 2018 (photo by Kate St. John)

Yellow poplar weevils (Odontopus calceatus) are harmless to humans but can show up in unexpected places. When I got home I sat down to eat lunch and a weevil jumped off my shoulder and landed near my salad. Dang! I smashed it before I realized I could have taken a closeup photo.

This weevil is not evil but is certainly annoying. Learn more about its lifestyle and what it eats in this 2018 article.

p.s. Years ago these bugs were misidentified in the newspaper as “billbugs.” Every year I forget their “weevil” name until I look them up in June.

(photos by Kate St. John)

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