Agricultural entomology: Awl of the artichoke

Agricultural entomology: Awl of the artichoke

Classification and host plants

Class: Insects
Order: Beetles
Suborder: Polyphages
Family: Curculionidae
Genus: Larinus
Species: L. cynarae F.

Bibliographic reference:
Phytopathology, agricultural entomology and applied biology” – M.Ferrari, E.Marcon, A.Menta; School edagricole - RCS Libri spa

Host plants: Artichoke and other composites.

Identification and damage

The Artichoke Weevil is a beetle whose adults, 12-16 mm long, are blackish in color and slightly covered by a light grayish tomentosity; the body is typically tapered and the head ends with the characteristic arched and elongated rostrum of the Curculionidae. In the spring, the adult who has wintered damages the leaves, stems and bracts by nibbling. In summer the adults lay between the bracts and the newborn larvae feed at the expense of the flower heads (July-August); the new adults who overwinter damage the crops the following year (in fact in autumn they generally do not feed). Similar characteristics have the congener Larinus scolymi, also phytophagous of the Artichoke and other Composites.

Biological cycle

The phytophagous winters as an adult, is carried on the artichoke crops in spring (in May). In summer the adults lay. From the larvae in late summer the new adults that overwinter originate. This awl therefore completes one generation per year.

Artichoke Awl - Larinus cynarae F. (photo clef91)


The control of this phytophagus is generally carried out with interventions against the adult stages before these lay down at the level of the flower heads. The treatments often have to be repeated a few times congruently to the pesticides used, however suspending them when the plants begin to bloom in order not to damage the pollinators and other useful organisms.

Video: A simple way to tell insects apart - Anika Hazra (January 2022).