How to Manage Pests
UC Pest Management Guidelines
Clover Root Curculio
Scientific Name: Sitona hispidulus
(Reviewed 11/06, updated 11/06)
In this Guideline:
DESCRIPTION OF THE PEST
Adults of the clover root curculio are slightly smaller than alfalfa weevil adults and are a mottled gray-brown with no distinct patterns. The life cycle is similar to alfalfa weevil in that the adults leave the alfalfa fields and spend the summer in protected areas.
The clover root curculio is a recognized alfalfa pest in the eastern half of the US, but information on this pest in California is extremely limited. Clover root curculio is apparently more common in sandy soils than in the heavier soils.
The white, grublike larvae of the clover root curculio feed on alfalfa roots and leave gouges in the tap root. They are most likely to be found in June. This damage has been shown to be detrimental to alfalfa yield and stand longevity in the eastern United States. The feeding also promotes root rot diseases by providing entry points for fungi.
There are no thresholds or control measures for this pest.
UC IPM Pest Management Guidelines:
Insects and Mites
L. D. Godfrey, Entomology, UC Davis
Acknowledgment for contributions to Insects and Mites:C. G. Summers, Entomology, Kearney Agricultural Center
M. Rethwisch, UC Cooperative Extension, Riverside County (Blythe)
D. R. Haviland, UC Cooperative Extension, Kern County