Citrus Pest Quick Guide: Diaprepes Root Weevil1

Lauren M. Diepenbrock and Jamie D. Burrow 2

Life Cycle

Eggs are oval with smooth exteriors. They are pale yellow to white and approximately 1.2 mm long and 0.4 mm wide. Eggs are laid in concealed locations, often between two leaves glued together. They hatch in 7–8 days, and larvae drop to the soil, where they feed on roots.

Figure 1. Diaprepes eggs.
Figure 1.  Diaprepes eggs.
Credit: T. R. Weeks, UF/IFAS

Larva are cream-colored, lack true legs, and grow to approximately 2.5 cm (less than 1 inch). The larvae feed on roots in the soil feeding for several months to complete development before pupating and emerging as adults.

Figure 2. Diaprepes larva.
Figure 2.  Diaprepes larva.
Credit: L. Buss, UF/IFAS

Adults range from 1–2 cm (less than 1 inch) in length. They are black with small red, orange, and/or yellow stripes on their wing covers (backs). Adult males live about one month while females live for 3–4 months, laying up to 5,000 eggs per lifetime.

Figure 3. Diaprepes adult.
Figure 3.  Diaprepes adult.
Credit: L. Buss, UF/IFAS

Figure 4. Diaprepes adults.
Figure 4.  Diaprepes adults.
Credit: R. Stewart, UF/IFAS

Damage

Adult weevils can occasionally severely damage tree foliage by eating large portions of leaves; however, the damage to foliage is generally not economically important. The majority of damage is caused by larval feeding on roots. Larvae can girdle the taproot, preventing the plant from taking in nutrients and water, which eventually leads to the death of the tree. Larval feeding also opens wounds through which Phytophthora fungus may enter roots, leading to root rot.

Figure 5. Damaged roots from Diaprepes larva feeding.
Figure 5.  Damaged roots from Diaprepes larva feeding.
Credit: L. M. Diepenbrock, UF/IFAS

Figure 6. Diaprepes feeding on foliage.
Figure 6.  Diaprepes feeding on foliage.
Credit: R. Stewart

Footnotes

1. This document is ENY1000, one of a series of the Entomology and Nematology Department, UF/IFAS Extension. Original publication date December 2019. Visit the EDIS website at https://edis.ifas.ufl.edu for the currently supported version of this publication.
2. Lauren M. Diepenbrock, assistant professor, Entomology and Nematology Department; and Jamie D. Burrow, Extension program manager; UF/IFAS Citrus Research and Education Center 33850.