What a long nose...
As the weather was a bit cool and cloudy, Pete and I decided a local dog walk would be best, so we set off for the grounds of Thorpe Hall, just a few hundred metres from the house. Pete was keen to go back and investigate the Turkey oaks more closely, as earlier this month he'd collected some insects from them which included two species that might well be new to Britain. And I wanted to add some more plant species to my local recording tetrad.
I had a very good morning, with records of two species that may be new to the vice-county (both garden escapes), as well as ones for several very local species including whorled water-milfoil and deadly nightshade. Pete found the bugs he was searching for, and came across a number of nut-weevils in the process. This one is the acorn weevil Curculio glandium which is a widespread and locally common species throughout the southeast.
Adults are associated with oak in a wide range of situations; woodland generally but especially near open woodland borders, open wooded parkland, gardens and on individual trees in urban situations. The beetle is sometimes abundant: adults appear in May or early June and remain until the autumn.
This is a female and the long rostrum (snout) is used to pierce and burrow into acorns prior to ovipositing. Larvae feed through the summer and fall to the ground with the acorn. Feeding continues here and when fully grown they emerge and burrow into the soil to pupate. Adults emerge from the soil the following spring.