Bromeliad-Eating Weevils



How to Cite

Frank, J. (1999). Bromeliad-Eating Weevils. Selbyana, 20(1), 40–48. Retrieved from


All known bromeliad-eating weevils—24 species in four genera (Cactophagus, Cholus, Diastethus, and Metamasius)— are native to the tropics and subtropics of the Americas. Several attack more than one bromeliad genus. Six are known to attack Ananas comosus. Four (Metamasius dimidiatipennis, M. callizona, M. quadrilineatus, and M. sellatus) have traveled far from their native ranges by hitchhiking in exported/imported bromeliads. Metamasius mosieri (a small weevil) attacks bromeliads of small stature, whereas M. callizona (a larger weevil) attacks bromeliads of larger stature. Tillandsia utriculata populations in Florida (USA) have suffered devastating attack by the immigrant weevil M. callizona (from Mexico), perhaps because these plants have evolved in isolation and have no method of resistance. A biological control campaign against M. callizona is in progress. Todos los picudos comedores de bromelias conocidas, los cuales pertenecen a 24 especies en cuatro géneros (Metamasius, Cactophagus, Diastethus y Cholus), son nativos de los trópicos y subtrópicos de las Americas. Varios atacan más de un género de bromelias. Seis atacan Ananas comosus. Cuatro (Metamasius dimidiatipennis, M. callizona, M. quadrilineatus y M. sellatus) han viajado lejos de sus ambientes nativos como "polizones" en bromelias exportadas e importadas. Metamasius mosieri (un picudo pequeño) ataca bromelias de tamaño pequeño, mientras M. callizona (un picudo más grande) ataca bromelias de mayor tamaño. Poblaciones de Tillandsia utriculata en la Florida (Estados Unidos) han sufrido ataques devastadores por el picudo inmigrante de México M. callizona quizas porque dichas poblaciones han evolucionado aisladamente y no tienen ningún mecanismo de resistencia. Una campaña de control biológico en contra de M. callizona está en progreso.


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