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ISSN : 1225-0171(Print)
ISSN : 2287-545X(Online)
Korean Journal of Applied Entomology Vol.59 No.4 pp.277-280

First Report of the Exotic Fig Weevil, Aclees taiwanensis Kôno (Coleoptera: Curculionidae) in Korea

Ki-Jeong Hong*, Deog Kee Park, So-Mi Lee1
Department of Plant Medicine, Sunchon National University, Suncheon 57922, Korea
1Fruit Research Institute, Jellanamdo Agricultural Research and Extension Services, Haenam 59021, Korea
July 27, 2020 August 25, 2020 September 4, 2020


During late July 2020, a species of weevil in the genus Aclees (Curculionidae, Molytinae) was found on several fig farms in the Haenam-gun district of Jeonnam Province, Korea. The weevil was subsequently identified as Aclees taiwanensis Kôno, 1933 (Coleoptera: Curculionidae), an exotic species, probably of subtropical and tropical Asian origin, that has also been introduced to Italy and France, where it is associated with severe damage to fig trees. This is the first report of an Aclees weevil in Korea.

한국에서 외래종 무화과곰보바구미(신칭), Aclees taiwanensis Kôno 발생 보고

홍 기정*, 박 덕기, 이 소미1
순천대학교 식물의학과
1전남농업기술원 과수연구소


2020년 7월 하순에 전남 해남의 무화과 농장에서 Aclees속에 속하는 바구미가 발견되었다. 이 바구미는 무화과곰보바구미(신칭), Aclees taiwanensis Kôno, 1933로 동정되었다. 아마도 아열대 및 열대 아시아가 원산인 이 외래종 바구미는 이탈리아와 프랑스에도 침입되어 무화과나무 에 심각한 피해를 일으키고 있다. 이 논문이 한국에서 보고되는 Aclees속 바구미에 대한 첫 보고이다.

    A species of weevil in the genus Aclees (Curculionidae, Molytinae) was found on several fig farms (Ficus carica) in the Haenam-gun district of Jeonnam Province, Korea on the late of July, 2020. The weevil was subsequently identified as Aclees taiwanensisKôno, 1933 (Coleoptera: Curculionidae). This is first reported the weevil belonging to the genus Aclees in Korea and considered to be an invasive alien species.

    Taxonomic account

    Family Curculionidae (바구미과)

    Subfamily Molytinae (참바구미아과)

    Tribe Hylobiini

    Genus Aclees Schoenherr

    Aclees taiwanensisKȏno, 1933 무화과곰보바구미(신칭) (Fig. 1)

    Aclees taiwanensisKȏno, 1933: 182. [TL: Taiwan]

    Diagnosis: Adult. Body length (excluding rostrum) 16 mm. Antennal club visibly two-segmented. Pronotum strongly wrinkled-punctate, with a weak median oblong glossy callus before the middle. Third and fourth sternites as smooth as two upper ones and metasternum, with large punctures at sides. Tarsal groove with two rows of outer setose fringes (Morimoto, 1982).

    Material examined: 1♂, 3♀♀, 3 larvae, 1 pupa, Gungok-ri, Songji-myeon, Haenam-gun, Jeonnam Province, 22.VII.2020, in the wood at the base of the trunk of fig tree (Ficus carica), K.J. Hong leg.

    Distribution: Southern part of Korean Peninsula (new record - introduced); Taiwan, China (Fujian, Guizhou, Guangxi, Hubei, Hunan, Jiangsu, Sichuan, Xizang, Yunnan, Zhejiang), Myanmar, Indonesia (Java, Borneo); introduced to France (Mouttet et al., 2020 as Aclees sp. cf. foveatus Voss) and Italy (Ciampolini et al., 2005 as A. cribratus; Benelli et al., 2014, as Aclees sp. cf. foveatus Voss)(Alonso-Zarazaga, 2013; Meregalli et al., 2020).

    Host plant: Fig tree (Ficus carica).

    Biological information observed and listened in the fig farms: The fig trees are cultivated under eco-friendly farming practices in the plastic houses. Observations made in the field showed that this Aclees weevil attacked Ficus carica. Larvae feed on the wood at the base of the trunk, mostly under the soil surface (Fig. 2). We had found one larva from diameter 1-2 cm and five to seven larvae from diameter 10 cm at the basal part of trunk. As a consequence of the destruction of the wood at the collar of the trees by the larvae, the aerial parts show growth reduction, yellowing, dieback and eventually tree death. Adults feed on the fig shoots and fruits (Fig. 3). According to the famer’s listening, the damage by this weevil has been observed from 2-3 years ago in Haenam-gun, Jeonnam Province and caused to be abandoned several fig farms in Yeosu-si and Wando-gun, Jeonnam Province in 5 years ago. And also, it is said that such damage on fig trees occurred in Busan-si prior to the occurrence of Jeonnam Province.


    This weevil seriously damaged the trunk of fig tree, was identified as Aclees taiwanensisKôno, 1933 (Coleoptera: Curculionidae). This weevil probably of subtropical and tropical Asian origin including China, was also introduced in Italy and France where it is responsible for serious damages on fig trees (Ciampolini et al., 2005).

    We think that this fig weevil is an invasive alien species to the Korean Peninsula based as follows - firstly, Aclees hirayami Kôno distributed the northernmost part of Asian region among members of genus Aclees, was only found to Kuroshima (30.5°N), Japan (Morimoto, 1982), but even Seogwipo-si, Jeju Is. located the southernmost part of Korea, is 33.1°N; Aclees weevil had not been confirmed from Hong et al. (2000), and from the survey data by taxonomists interested in the Korean weevil fauna and a corresponding author in the Korean Peninsula until now; the fig tree is not native in Korea, but commercially cultivated under the plastic houses, and imported the huge amount of saplings for planting from many foreign countries since 2000s; symptoms caused by this weevil, were known from only 4 or 5 years ago according to the listening from farmers; lastly, this fig weevils are only found on fig trees cultivated under the plastic houses.

    The fig trees are cultivated under eco-friendly farming practices in the plastic houses in Korea. Especially, it is considered a serious pest because it is difficult to eradicate on the farms where fig trees are cultivated with nutrient broth in rectangular boxes under the plastic houses. Since the proper control method for this weevil pest is not known until now and fig trees are cultivated using eco-friendly farming practices, the most effective management methods are recommended as follows; planted the healthy trees, picked the adult weevils up on the aerial parts using a flashlight in the night with 2 or 3 days interval, fitted the screen at the door of the plastic houses, forbidden the transplanting of saplings to other farms, and incinerated saplings and agricultural materials that used in the damaged farms.


    This work was carried out through “Survey and identification of insect pests of small area-cultivated crops in southern areas of Korean peninsula” (Project Code PJ01450704) supported by Rural Development Administration, South Korea.


    The fig weevil, Aclees taiwanensis Kȏno. A: dorsal view; B: adult weevil on a fig tree; C: penis, dorsal view; D: penis, lateral view; E: penis, details of the apex.


    The fig weevil, Aclees taiwanensis Kȏno. A: larva; B: a larva in the basal part of trunk; C: pupa; D: a pupa in the basal part of trunk.


    Damages by a fig weevil, Aclees taiwanensis Kȏno. A: damaged young fruit by adult, B: damaged shoots by adult, C-D: damaged the basal part of trunk by larva.


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