Giraffe Necked Weevil Fact File

Trachelophorus giraffa

Weight

Insufficient

Data

Length

30mm

(1.25in)

Lifespan

Wild 1 years

Captive 1 years

Diet

Herbivore

Tree Leaves

Conservation Status

IUCN

Not Evaluated

The giraffe weevil is a species of invertebrate found on the island of Madagascar off the coast of Africa.

They are notable for their long neck which is three times as long in males as it is in females. This is used by rival males to battle one another for breeding rights with the females.

Following a successful mating the female will lay an egg which is then wrapped in a leaf and dropped on to the forest floor. The larva then feeds on the leaf before forming a pupa where it develops in to an adult.

You can learn more about the giraffe necked weevil by reading on below.

Appearance

The giraffe necked weevil is named for the long neck which is colored black. At the top of the neck is the head which features two eyes and a pair of antennae which project out from it. Males have a much longer neck than females sometimes by three times as much.

Males have this longer neck for use in combat across other males.

The large abdomen is colored red across the elytra which is the hard covering over the wings. Across the rest of the body they are colored black.

Adults reach a length of 30mm (1.25in) long.

Diet


Giraffe necked weevils are herbivores. They feed on leaves with their main food source being the giraffe beetle tree (Dichaetanthera arborea). It is thought they may feed on the sap from the leaves but further research is needed to confirm this.

Giraffe Necked Weevil

Range

Madagascar off the coast of Africa is the native home of the giraffe necked weevil.

Habitat

They make their home in forest habitats. Giraffe necked weevils are reliant on the presence of the giraffe beetle tree (Dichaetanthera arborea) which is their primary food source. They do not often venture far from these trees.

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Reproduction

A pair of males will fight for mating rights with a female. She may wait close by while they duel using their long necks and then mates with the winner. On a rare occasion these fights may end in death for one of the parties.

The female deposits a single egg on a leaf and then rolls this up to provide protection to the egg and gives it its first meal upon hatching. Once this role is completed they will cut the tube so it falls to the forest floor.

After hatching the giraffe necked weevil is a yellowish larva which feeds on the leaf it was wrapped in. It will then undertake a pupation to become an adult weevil.

Behavior

Giraffe necked weevils have the ability to fly.

These insects are not thought to provide a threat to humans as they have not been reported to bite or sting.

Giraffe Necked Weevil

Predators and Threats

Eggs may face predation by other species of insect. Males may remain nearby to defend the eggs against this.

These animals occur in a number of protected reserves which offers them some level of protection.

Quick facts

The isolation of the island of Madagascar has allowed unique species such as the giraffe weevil to evolve. A similar species is found in New Zealand though.

Giraffe Necked weevils were first described for western science in 1860 by a French entomologist, Henri Jekel.

These invertebrates have the longest head of any insect.

The giraffe necked weevil is one of 60,000 species of weevil found globally.

Giraffe Necked Weevil

Photo Credits

Top

Brian Gratwicke from DC, USA, CC BY 2.0 <https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0>, via Wikimedia Commons

Middle One and Bottom

Frank Vassen, CC BY 2.0 <https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0>, via Wikimedia Commons

Middle Two

Bernard DUPONT from FRANCE, CC BY-SA 2.0 <https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0>, via Wikimedia Commons

References

Tomasinelli, F., Yumenokaori and Knight, S., 2020. Bugs of the world. 1st ed. New York: Hachette Book Group

The Ark In Space. 2019. The Remarkable Giraffe Weevil of Madagascar. [online] Available at: <https://www.arkinspace.com/2012/05/remarkable-giraffe-weevil-of-madagascar.html> [Accessed 30 June 2021].

weevil, T., 2021. The giraffe necked weevil – MADAMAGAZINE. [online] MADAMAGAZINE. Available at: <https://www.madamagazine.com/en/der-giraffenhalskaefer/> [Accessed 30 June 2021].

Sfzoo.org. 2021. San Francisco Zoo – Hours. [online] Available at: <http://www.sfzoo.org/animals/sculptures/giraffe-weevil.html> [Accessed 30 June 2021].

Nathab.com. 2021. Giraffe-Necked Weevil | Madagascar Wildlife Guide. [online] Available at: <https://www.nathab.com/know-before-you-go/african-safaris/madagascar/wildlife-guide/giraffe-necked-weevil/> [Accessed 30 June 2021].

Realmonstrosities.com. 2021. Giraffe Weevil. [online] Available at: <http://www.realmonstrosities.com/2013/09/giraffe-weevil.html> [Accessed 30 June 2021].

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