Rather than having a long neck like its namesake, the giraffe weevil (Lasiorhynchus barbonicus) has a distinctive long snout called a rostrum which earns it the title of Aotearoa’s longest weevil.
Female giraffe weevils are much smaller than males (from 12-50mm long) and have a shorter snout. They chew little holes in tree trunks to lay their eggs in – but they only lay one egg per hole. Once the egg is safely inside, they cover it up with sawdust and bits of bark.
The bulkier males (from 15-90mm long) can be pretty aggressive – battling one another by grappling, gouging, and pushing their opponents with their snouts.
Larvae tunnel into wood for up to two years before emerging as adults. Inside the trunks of dead trees, the larvae munch on fungus rather than the wood itself.
When the adults emerge in Spring and Summer, they only live for a few weeks.
They’re active during the day but don’t be fooled by their antics! If giraffe weevils are disturbed, they’ll drop backwards to the ground, playing dead for up to an hour!
You can spot giraffe weevils in native forests in the North Island and in some wetter, warmer parts of the western South Island. They prefer lowland forests and are easiest to find in February when they’re most abundant.
Check these links for more info on the Giraffe Weevil in NZ
iNaturalist.nz: Observations of Lasiorhynchus barbicornis
Wikipedia: Information on Lasiorhynchus barbicornis
The New York Times: Meet the Giraffe Weevil. It’s Got a Secret Up Its Long Snout (2021).
Click on the image to visit the official iNaturalist.nz observation.