CURCULIO. This is a name given by the ancient Romans to the Corn Weevil. The weevil& belonging to the family Curculionida4, are short, thick beetles, the antennee bent or elbowed near the middle, the first joint being longer than the rest. Feelers not perceptible. They vary in the form, length and direction of their snouts. Those• most destructive to fruit are the Plum Curculio. and the Plum Gouger, both of which attack various fruits, even the apple, though preferring the plum. Although there is a distinct Curculio, -attacking the apple, as there are also weevils attacking grain, peas, beans, and various other fruits and farm products. In the accompany ing illustrations (which are given herewith) Fig 1 shows the destructive Plum Curculio .(Conotrach,elus nenuphar) magnified; a, being the larva, b, the pupa, c, the chrysalis, and d shows a young plum, with the peculiar crescent-shaped mark, and the dot in which the egg is laid—also the perfect insect on other side, natural size; the hair lines also show the natural size of the insect in its various transformations. Fig. 2 is the Apple Curculio (Anthonomus quadrigibbus), a, natiiral size, b, side view, and c, back view.
Fig. 3 is the Pine Weevil (Pissocles strobi), a, larva ; b, pupa, and c, the perfect insect ; hair line, natural size. Fig. 4 is the Elm TreeWeevil (Magdalis armicollis), a, larva, b, pupa; the central figure, the perfect insect; the hair line showing natural size. Fig. 5 shows the Long Snouted Nut Weevil (Balaninus nasicus), the figure to the right show ing the larva, and that to the left the perfect insect. Fig. 6 shows the New York Weevil (lay cerus nove,boracens is), a, the work of the female where she lays her egg under the bark; b, the lar va or grub; c, the perfect beetle. In presenting these and the following cuts, which embrace some of the more important of the Curculio or Weevil family, we have selected those working in fruit, nuts and wood. For some other of the more destructive species, as the Pea Weevil, the reader is referred to arti cles under the distinctive titles or names. The figures will give a good general idea of several of the most destructive species, for, it must be remembered, that the curculios, which em brace the weevils are numerous and especially noxious, from the fact that the first destroy the fruit, and the latter the ripe grain and seeds, both ultimate products.
The late and lamented Dr. Le Baron,of Illinois, describes the Curculi onidce, or Snout Beetles, as follows: Their bodies are always of an oval form, never being very much elongated or de pressed. The snout , varies extremely, being sometimes short and broad, and sometimes as long as the body and almost as slender as a hair. Their most im portant organic charac ter is the negative one of the absence of the labrum and the rudi mental condition of the palpi. Like all the plant-eating Tetramera their tarsi are clothed with a dense brush of short stiff hair on the under side, and the last joint but one is strongly bilobed. Another very distinctive character is the bent or elbowed form of the antennae, which is caused by the first joint being much longer than the. others, and forming an angle with them. The antennw are almost always knobbed at the end. The larym are soft and white, slightly narrowed at each extremity, and usually lying in a, curved position. They are always destitute of feet, but in their place we often find little elevations or papillce which are some times surmounted by a coronet of fine bristles. They always occupy the substance of plants, and therefore require but little locomotion. Though they are emphatically the occupants of fruits and fruit-like galls, yet there is no part of a plant which is not inhabited by the larvm of some one or other of their numerous species.
The snout-beetles consequently furnish a greater number of species which are injurious to the agriculturist than any other family of beetles. In depositing their eggs the females first puncture a bole with their snouts, then drop an egg at the aperture and lastly, with the aid of the proboscis, push the egg to the bottom of the cavity. In harmony with this mode of egg-deposit is the organic character observed in many species, of the female having a proboscis considerably longer than that of the male; of which our Apple Curculio (Anthonomus quadrigibbus) fur nishes an example. The classification of the Curculionidm, on account of their great num bers and the small size of the great majority of them, taken in connection with the rudimental state of some of the organs, namely, the labrum and the palpi, which, in other insects, often furnish valuable generic characters, presents a difficult study which will tax both the patience and the ingenuity of the student. They, are divided primarily into two large sections, accord ing to the length of the rostrum or snout, and the point of insertion of the antennm, and desig nated as the Brevirostres or short-snouted Cur culios, and the Longirostres or long-snouted Curculios. These sections not being sharply separated from each other in nature, Lacordaire has adopted, as the basis of the primary division of the Curculionicize, the relative position of certain parts of the mouth; but these parts are often so rninute and obscure that the characters derived from them are very difficult of application. We have therefore followed the rnore popular classification of Latreille and Schcenherr, so far as respects this primary divi sion. These are : Section 1—Brevirostres. Ros trum short and broad, never much longer than the head; scrobes extending to the end of the rostrum, and the antennse inserted at or near their extremities. Anterior come contig uous. Elytra covering the whole of the abdo men. Section 2—Longirostres. Rostrum usu ally much longer than the head, narrow and cylindrical; scrobes very rarely- reaching the end of the rostrum, and the antennw usually inserted at a greater or less distance from its extremity, generally near the middle, and sometimes at its base. Coxm and elytra various. The Longiros tre,s, which are much the most numerous, are divided by Lacordaire into two sub-sections, accordingly as the anterior cox touch each other, or stand more or less apart. The former he names Synmericles, meaning thighs contiguous, and the latter Apostasimeric7,es, (which we have contracted to Apomericles) meaning thighs sepa rate. The word scrobe, used in describing the Curculionidw; is the name given to the channel on each side of the rostrum for the reception of the antennze. The term occular lobes refers to the form of the anterior and lateral margins of the thorax, which, in this case, curve forwards so as to touch or partly cover the eyes. Scape is the same as pedicel, and is the name of the elon gated first joint of the antennw. The rostral canal is the name of the groove in the proster num of sorne species for the reception of the ros trurn when it is bent under the breast in repose. It is necessary to bear in mind that as the Curculionidse are, for the most part, small insects when compared with the Coleoptera in general, the terms large and small, when applied to par ticular groups or species, have a modified signifi cance. A curculio half an inch or upwards in length, is comparatively large; one a quarter of an inch is mediurn ; and one an eighth of an inch or less is small or very small.