Cherry Curculio – Anthonomus consors

Cherry Curculio: Appearance, Territory, Damage and Life Cycle

Latin Name: Anthonomus Consors

Appearance: The cherry curculio is a little reddish-brown weevil with a thin, slightly curved beak. It mimics bud scales and fruit-stem scars on the surface, helping it to fit in with its surroundings. The larvae are legless, cream-colored grubs with spotting that live within the pit.

Hosts Plants: Prunus Species, Sour cherry, occasionally chokecherry

Territory: Larimer, Jefferson, Durango, Fremont, and Boulder Counties

Damage Insect Cause: Adults tear tiny holes in the base of flowers, causing developing fruit to abort. Larger fruits are pitted as a result of this damage. Eggs are put into the fruit, and larvae burrow through the fruit, eventually feeding on the pit.

Life History and Habits: The cherry curculio is a natural chokecherry bug that can cause considerable harm to farmed tart cherries. Winter is spent in the adult stage, with weevils hiding beneath garbage or grass clumps near previously afflicted plants. They become active in the spring, flying to host plants during the peak of their bloom. The cherry curculio feeds by biting with small mandibles that tip the long snout, as is typical of weevils. Initially, they feed on blooms, particularly the fleshy base, frequently damaging developing ovaries.

They feed on fruit as it matures, causing characteristic feeding punctures that may extend into the growing pit on little fruit. Feeding injuries leave black scars on the skin’s surface. Because the insects move so little, many feeding damage might occur on a single fruit. During the 4-6 weeks of spring activity, a single cherry curculio may create over 100 feeding punctures.

Egg laying occurs when the “husk” of the fruit is shed; at this stage, the fruit is roughly the size of a tiny pea. After biting through the fruit, females deposit eggs in the growing pit. Egg laying occurs over a 2–3-week period, peaking when cherries are roughly half their full size. The larvae complete their development in the hole, and pupation happens there as well. Around the time the fruit ripens, a new generation of adults gnaw their way out and emerge. They eat for fewer than two weeks before moving to winter refuge, where they will remain until the next season.