Leiosoma deflexum

Found in the hazel leaf litter on the 19th February 2022, the critter below is the 4th species of weevil we have so far identified in the garden, and we are reasonably confident we have it down to species level…

…and here it is photographed under magnification (E.C 19th February 2022). A bit blurry because these guys are constantly on the move, as can be seen in the video below. They also seem to be a bit clumsy, and it was difficult to keep this guy upright and to not get stuck on its back like the proverbial tortoise.

This video also shows the antenna to have the dark clubs, which is the case with many Leiosoma species.

To get some idea of size, the same brush in the photograph above is also shown below. From this we estimate the weevil to be about 2.5-3mm long. Which is roughly what the information available online for L. deflexum suggests it should be.

In order to identify this guy to species level we needed some expert guidance, and found the following identification guide online. See reference material (6) linked HERE.

Page 70 of this identification notes, that for this species the combination of a small tooth on the underside of the femur (circled black below) and white patches of scales between the mid and hind legs (circled in red below) are indicative of this being L. deflexum. The other two Leiosoma species regarded in (6) as being similar species, lack one or both of these features, in addition to both being rarer than deflexum in the UK.

These guys are also associated with Creeping Butterup (Ranunculus repens), the larvae develop in its roots, although they are also associated with other plant species. It just so happens that we found our specimen in the leaf litter above the location of last years patch of creeping buttercup, as indicated by the arrow below.

So overall we are content we have this weevil identified down to species level. We have, as noted recently in our blog, been attempting to knock back Creeping Buttercup, but ultimately we expect to control this aggressive species rather than eradicate it, which now we know these guys are about is perhaps not such a bad thing.

DC 20/02/2022