Yellowpoplar Weevil Damage on Magnolia

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Yellowpoplar weevil adults  (Odontopus calceatus) causes feeding damage on tuliptree (yellow-poplar, tulip-poplar, tuliptree), magnolia and sassafras, resulting in holes in leaves, aptly described as resembling “curved rice grains” by many fact sheets, including an excellent one by the University of Kentucky. After adults mate in late spring, eggs hatch and larvae “mine” areas of the leaves, resulting in a scorched appearance of the new growth of the tree or shrub (certain magnolias). Although this damage is not considered important to plant health, it may significantly affect the ornamental appeal of the plant in some years, as was evident in the first picture from this past week on magnolias at Secrest Arboretum in Wooster in northeast Ohio.


Note: Since tuliptree/yellow-poplar (Liriodendron tulipifera) is neither a tulip (Tulipa) or a poplar (Populus) of any sort, the common name for the tree is properly written as a compound word, as in tulip-poplar or yellowpoplar. Though this protocol is often not followed in every publication for plants and insects, it can be useful, thus dawnredwoods are not true redwoods and ladybug beetles are not true bugs (such as lace bugs). If this protocol seems odd, consider the word “pineapple”. 


weevil damage and weevils


The second picture (from the database) is by Tim Tigner from the Virginia Department of Forestry and shows both damage and the offending adult “snout” beetles (weevils).