Pest of the Month March 2012 – South American Palm Weevil

  • Hosts: Coconut, sago palm, Canary Island date palm, date palm, sugarcane, papaya, citrus, mango, guava, Fosberg breadfruit, banana, avocado, cocoa, and many others
  • Distribution: South America, Mexico, Caribbean.  It has been found in California and Texas but does not appear to be well-established.
  • Description: Large, black weevil 1.3” long and 0.6” wide.  Shiny when it emerges, fades to dull black.
  • Symptoms: Progressive yellowing of foliage.  Emerging leaves are destroyed and flowers are necrotic. Galleries and damage to leaf stems are easily detected.  In coconut, larval tunnel openings and frass can be found at the bases of the leaf axils.
  • Vectors: Red ring nematode, Bursaphelenchus cocophilus (Cobb), which can infect Canary Island date, Cuban royal, date, and coconut.  It can kill young palms. 
  • Aloha Arborist Association members can contact: 643-PEST.  Let them know that you’re with AAA, and ask them to let HDOA Plant Pest Control know.  Photos of the pest can be emailed to


  1. Presentation at March 2012 AAA meeting by Darcy Oishi, Hawaii Department of Agriculture
  2. Rhynchophorus palmarum, U.S. Department of Agriculture. 

South American Palm Weevil (a.k.a. Giant Palm Weevil). Photo by California Department of Food and Agriculture.