Homoeodera nodulipennis   (Woll.)


 
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Gnarled Broad-headed Weevil
(Homoeodera nodulipennis)

 
syn. -

 
distribution:

British Overseas Territory of Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da Cunha: Saint Helena

 
local name: -

 
size: (?)

extinction date: (?)

 
The genus Homoeodera, which is endemic to the island of Saint Helena, comprises currently fourteen described, and at least one undescribed species.

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The Gnarled Broad-headed Weevil is known only from the two specimens, from which the species was scientifically described in the year 1877.

The species was obviously adapted to a single host plant, the Saint Helena Gumwood (Commidendrum robustum ssp. gummiferum ((Roxb.) Cronk)), which is now extinct too.

Concerning this, see also Thomas Vernon Wollaston in the year 1877 (Coleoptera Sanctae-Helenae).:

The only two examples of this marvellous little insect which I have yet seen were captured by myself, early in February, at the extreme edge of the tremendous precipice, or crater wall (Constituting the south-western portion of the great central ridge), immediately above West Lodge, - in one of the most exposed and windy spots it is possible to imagine. So difficult indeed was it, on account of the violence of the gale, to examine, even in the most imperfect manner, any thing that presented itself, that I feel almost satisfied that I inadvertently threw several specimens away, mistaking them for the seeds of plants. Nor, indeed, is their prima facie resemblance to seeds, when the limbs are contracted, altogether fanciful; for they at least have as much the appearance, at first sight, of a vegetable substance as of an animal one; and it was more by accident than any thing else that the symmetry of their outline induced me to put a couple of them into my collecting-bottle. They were obtained amongst small and broken-up sticks, I think of the common Gorse; though their close proximity to the shrubs of the Aster gummiferus [Commidendrum robustum ssp. gummiferum] (or "Little Bastard Gumwood"), which stud the inaccessible rocks and ledges below, incline me to suspect that the species may in reality belong to the fauna of that interesting but now rapidly disappearing arborescent Composite.

 
References:

- Thomas Vernon Wollaston: Coleoptera Sanctae-Helenae. London: J. Van Voorst, 1877
- Howard Mendel; Philip Ashmole; Myrtle Ashmole: Invertebrates of the Central Peaks and Peak Dale, St Helena. 2008