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Spotted vegetable weevils

Consultant, Simon Mock (Clovercrest Consulting), has observed spotted vegetable weevils in an early stage canola crop near Kaniva, in the Wimmera district of Victoria. Feeding damage, which is characterised by holes chewed in cotyledons and ‘ring-barking’ of stems, is patchy across the paddock. Simon reports that the paddock was previously a pasture, containing numerous broadleaved weeds, including capeweed. This is likely to have facilitated the build up of weevil populations.

The spotted vegetable weevil (Steriphus diversipes) is a sporadic pest and widely distributed across Victoria and New South Wales. Adults are mottled grey-black weevils with grey flecks on the abdomen. They grow up to 7 mm long. Larvae are white with orange-brown heads, grow to 8 mm in length and are soil dwelling.

Crops that follow long-term pasture are most likely to be at risk of spotted vegetable weevils. Inspect newly sown paddocks and germinating seedling crops, looking for poor emergence or bare patches. Spotted vegetable weevils were recently reported attacking wheat in southern New South Wales.

For further information on spotted vegetable weevils, refer to PestFacts Issue No. 2.

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