Protapion fulvipes (Geoffroy, 1785)

Female
This is our most common and widespread species of Apionidae, being found throughout the British Isles including the Scottish islands. They feed on clover and may be obtained by sweeping from late March onwards. Found throughout the Watford area, the presence of its foodplant is not necessary as the highly adventitious adults have been swept from most situations, having said that there cannot be many places where the host plant does not occur! Larvae feed within the flowerheads and are a pest of commercially grown clover (Morris). The species is said to prefer pink or white flowering forms of Trifolium repens or T.hybrida .

1.5-2.2mm. Distinctive, shining dark grey to black, the surface looks like gunmetal. Very convex and slender, with long legs, especially the front pair. Rostrum long and cylindrical with antennae inserted midway (male) or behind middle (female). Scape and joints 1-2 of funiculus yellow, beyond this the segments become darker (P.nigritarse (Kirby)), club black and not so distinctly demarked from funiculus as in P.nigritarse. Thorax coarsely punctate with longitudinal impression towards base. Elytral striae deep, half the width of interstices on disc. Femora and tibiae yellow or with extreme apices infuscated, tarsi black with basal segment piceous yellow. Fore coxae black in female. Sparsely pubescent throughout (X40). P.nigritarse is the only species with which it might be confused.

Description from 2 Watford specimens at X30

For an account of the biology see Freeman, B.E. 1967. The biology of the white clover seed weevil, A. dichroum Bedel. Journ. Appl. Ecol. 4:535-552.

Male

Female

Male

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