Kiss Me Slow

Ixapion variegatum

Ixapion variegatum
Kiss Me Slow, Beetle
Photo: Harry Green

Ixapion variegatum, is a tiny weevil, first described by Wencker in 1864. It came to attention of the media in 2000 when a British Naturalist* found it feeding on mistletoe in August of 2000. The media hyped the discovery as the “Kiss Me Slow, Beetle”. Since then it has been debated whether the weevil was new to Britain or was overlooked, because of its small size (3 mm) and short time as an adult.** The weevil is associated with declining mistletoe. The weevil feeds on the shoots and causes die back. It is debated whether the weevil prefers to feed on mistletoe that is in decline or if the weevil is causing the decline.

Don’t expect a slow kiss from a weevil falling from your mistletoe. The adults are only found through September.

*Foster, A.P., Morris, M.G., & Whitehead, P.F. 2001. Ixapion variegatum (Wenker), (Coleoptera, Apionidae) new to the British Isles, with observations on its European and conservation status. Entomologist’s Monthly Magazine, 137, 95- 105.

**Mistletoe (Viscum album): A brief review of its local status with recent observations on its insect associations and conservation problems. 2011. Proceedings of the Cotteswold Naturalists’ Field Club, XLV (II), 181-193.

About jjneal

Jonathan Neal is an Associate Professor of Entomology at Purdue University and author of the textbook, Living With Insects (2010). This blog is a forum to communicate about the intersection of insects with people and policy. This is a personal blog. The opinions and materials posted here are those of the author and are in no way connected with those of my employer.
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One Response to Kiss Me Slow

  1. Interesting! Thanks for all your posts during the year. I’ve learned quite a bit about the bugs crawling around my yard and home. I’m also glad I don’t have a number of those you’ve blogged about!

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