Mexican Bromeliad Weevil: Introduction
The Mexican bromeliad weevil (Metamasius callizona (Chevrolat)) is an invasive insect attacking native bromeliad populations in Florida. The weevil is originally from Mexico and Guatemala and arrived in Florida on ornamental shipments of bromeliads that came from Mexico. The weevil was first discovered in 1989 in Florida on bromeliads in a grower's greenhouse in Broward County. An attempt was made to eradicate the weevil but it was too late - the weevil was already established on native, wild bromeliads. Florida has 16 species of native bromeliads and 12 of them are susceptible to attack by the weevil. Ten of these species are listed as endangered or threatened and 1 species is precinctive to Florida. A potential biological control agent, Lixadmontia franki Wood and Cave, was discovered in Honduras in 1993 on a related species of bromeliad-eating weevil, M. quadrilineatus Champion. Lixadmontia franki is a specialist parasitoid of bromeliad-eating weevils and was shown in the laboratory to parasitize the Mexican bromeliad weevil. Beginning in 2007, the fly has been released and monitored for survival and establishment in several natural areas in Florida. The fly is capable of surviving in the wild in Florida but has not yet shown any indication of establishment or of having an effect on the weevil or bromeliad populations.
Mexican Bromeliad Weevil