A survey of the Hyperinae (Coleoptera: Curculionoidea: Curculionidae) of Israel

A survey of weevils of the subfamily Hyperinae is conducted in Israel for the first time. The Hyperinae comprise a small but important group of weevils, about 200 species in the Palaearctic region, including many important agricultural pests. The Hyperinae are mostly associated with Fabaceae, Apiaceae, Caryophyllaceae and Polygonaceae. The larvae develop on the outer surface of plants, feeding on leaves and stems. Pupation occurs within a special cocoon attached to the host plant. A total of about 20 species of Hyperinae have been recorded from Israel to date. However, the National Collections of Natural History at Tel Aviv University (TAU) contains more taxa, many of them still undetermined and some probably undescribed. There are around 20 additional species known from adjacent countries which could be revealed in Israel. Plant associations and immature stages of the Israeli Hyperinae are nearly unknown. The collecting will start in January 2012, with 15 collecting trips planned throughout Israel. Weevils will be collected using various techniques: sweeping, sifting, light trapping, pitfall trapping, etc. Special emphasis will be made on revelation and recognizing of the host plants. Both the old and the new records will be incorporated into the database of the National Collections at TAU. Collected material will be mounted, labeled, sorted and identified with the help of the literature and reference collection. Some specimens will be sent to foreign specialists for identification or verification.