Skip to main content
ARS Home » Northeast Area » Beltsville, Maryland (BARC) » Beltsville Agricultural Research Center » Systematic Entomology Laboratory » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #375459

Research Project: Systematics of Moths Significant to Biodiversity, Quarantine, and Control, with a Focus on Invasive Species

Location: Systematic Entomology Laboratory

Title: Variability and distribution of the golden-headed weevil Compsus auricephalus (Say) (Curculionidae: Entiminae: Eustylini)

item GIRON, JENNIFER - Texas Tech University
item Chamorro, Maria

Submitted to: Biodiversity Data Journal
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 7/8/2020
Publication Date: 7/9/2020
Publication URL:
Citation: Giron, J.C., Chamorro, M.L. 2020. Variability and distribution of the golden-headed weevil Compsus auricephalus (Say) (Curculionidae: Entiminae: Eustylini). Biodiversity Data Journal. 8(e55454):1-50.

Interpretive Summary: The golden-headed weevil is a close relative of one of the most devastating insects pests of citrus in Florida, the citrus root weevil. Our study found that the golden-headed weevil includes multiple color and size forms, including white and non-white individuals. We also found that the species extends only as far south as eastern Guatemala and not to Panama as previously reported. We identify features to distinguish this native weevil from other species, especially from other similar forms in Central and South America. This study brings stability and clarity to a poorly studied native pest species and will better pr epare farmers, foresters, federal and local regulatory and inspection agencies, against the threat posed by invasive species around the World

Technical Abstract: The golden-headed weevil Compsus auricephalus is a native and fairly widespread species across southern U.S.A. extending through Central America south to Panama. There are two recognized morphotypes of the species: the typical green form, with pink to cupreous head and part of the legs, and the uniformly white to pale brown form. There are other Central and South American species of Compsus and related genera of similar appearance that make it challenging to provide accurate identifications of introduced species at ports of entry. Here we redescribe the species, provide images of the habitus, miscellaneous morphological structures, and male and female genitalia. We discuss the morphological variation of Compsus auricephalus across its distributional range, by revising and updating that distributional range based on data from entomological collections across the U.S.A.. The revised distribution of C. auricephalus extends as far south as Zacapa in Guatemala. Records south from there correspond to a different species, with affinities to C. auricephalus which we discuss and illustrate. Furthermore, we summarize information regarding the biology, host plants and natural enemies of C. auricephalus