Salvinia weevil, Cyrtobagous salviniae (Calder & Sands) (Insecta: Coleoptera: Curculionidae)
A polka-dot wasp moth. Credit: James Castner, UF/IFAS
view on EDIS
view on Featured Creatures

How to Cite

Prade, Patricia, Eutychus Kariuki, and Adam Dale. 2019. “Salvinia Weevil, Cyrtobagous Salviniae (Calder & Sands) (Insecta: Coleoptera: Curculionidae)”. EDIS 2019 (4), 5.


The salvinia weevil, Cyrtobagous salviniae (Calder & Sands) (Coleoptera: Curculionidae) (Figure 1), is a subaquatic (underwater) herbivorous insect native to Brazil (Calder and Sands 1985). This insect feeds on the invasive aquatic plants Salvinia molesta D. S. Mitchell and Salvinia minima (Baker). This insect is an effective classical biological control agent used in several countries to control the invasive giant salvinia, Salvinia molesta (D. S. Mitch). Feeding by Cyrtobagous salviniae larvae and adults kills its invasive host plants and restores recreational, agricultural, and ecosystem functions in aquatic systems. In the United states, the insect has been credited for controlling Salvinia minima in Florida (Jacono et al. 2001) and causing the decline of Salvinia molesta in Texas and Louisiana (Tipping et al. 2008).
view on EDIS
view on Featured Creatures


Calder AA, Sands DPA. 1985. "A new Brazilian Cyrtobagous hustache (Coleoptera: Curculionidae) introduced into Australia to control salvinia." Austral Entomology 24: 57-64.

Center for Agriculture and Bioscience International. 2018. Salvinia molesta (Kariba weed). In: Invasive species compendium. Retrieved from: United States Department of Agriculture, Stoneville, MS. (20 March 2019)

Cilliers CJ. 1991. "Biological control of water fern, Salvinia molesta (Salviniaceae), in South Africa." Agriculture, Ecosystems and Environment 37: 219-224.

Douglas-Oliver J. 1993. "A review of the biology of giant salvinia (Salvinia molesta Mitchell)." Journal of Aquatic Plant Management 31: 227-231.

Eisenberg L, Johnson S, Grodowitz MJ. 2018. "The reproductive morphology and physiological age grading of the female salvinia weevil, Cyrtobagous salviniae Calder and Sands." International Journal of Insect Science 10: 1-8.

Forno IW, Sand DPA, Sexton W. 1983. "Distribution, biology, and host specificity of Cyrtobagous singularis Hustache (Coleoptera: Curculionidae) for the biological control of Salvinia molesta." Bulletin of Entomological Research 73: 85-95.

Horner T. 2002. Field release of the salvinia weevil, Cyrtobagous salviniae Calder and Sands (Curculionidae: Coleoptera) for control of giant salvinia, Salvinia molesta Mitchell (Hydropteridales: Salviniaceae). Retrieved from: United States Department of Agriculture, Riverdale, MD. (20 March 2019)

Jacono CC, Davern TR, Center TD. 2001. "The adventive status of Salvinia minima and S. molesta in the southern United States and the related distribution of the weevil Cyrtobagous salviniae." Castanea 66: 214-226.

Julien MH, Bourne AS, Chan RR. 1987. "Effects of adult and larval Cyrtobagous salviniae on the floating weed Salvinia molesta." Journal of Applied Ecology 24: 935-944.

Julien MH, Center TD, Tipping PW. 2002. Floating fern (Salvinia), pp. 17-32. In Van Driesche RG, Blossey B, Hoddle M, Lyon S, Reardon R (editors). Biological Control of Invasive Plants in the Eastern United States. FHTET-2002-04, USDA Forest Service, Morgantown, WV.

Julien MH, Hill MP, Tipping PW. 2009. Salvinia molesta D. S. Mitchell (Salviniaceae), pp. 378-407. In Muniappan R, Reddy GV, Raman A (editors.). Biological Control of Tropical Weeds Using Arthropods. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press.

Julien MH, McFadyen RE, Cullen JM. 2012. Biological Control of Weeds in Australia. Melbourne, Australia: CSIRO. 648p.

Kissinger DG. 1966. "Cyrtobagous Hustache, a genus of weevils new to the United States fauna (Coleoptera: Curculionidae: Bagoini)." The Coleopterists' Bulletin 20: 125-127.

Room PM, Harley KLS, Forno IW, Sands DPA. 1981. "Successful biological control of the floating weed salvinia." Nature 294: 78-80.

Russell A, Johnson S, Mudge C, Diaz R. 2016. The biology and ecology of the salvinia weevil: A biological control agent for the management of giant salvinia. Retrieved from: Pub. 3474 Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge, LA. (20 March 2019)

Russell A, Johnson S. Cibilis X, McKay F, Moshman L, Madeira P, Blair Z, Diaz R. 2017. "Surveys in Argentina and Uruguay reveal Cyrtobagous salviniae (Coleoptera: Curculionidae) populations adapted to survive temperate climates in southeastern USA." Biological Control 107: 41-49.

Sands DPA, Schotz M, Bourne AS. 1983. "The feeding characteristics and development of larvae of a salvinia weevil Cyrtobagous sp." Entomologia Experimentalis et Applicata 34: 291-296.

Sands DPA, Schotz M, Bourne AS. 1986. "A comparative study on the intrinsic rates of increase of Cyrtobagous singularis and C. salviniae (Coleoptera: Curculionidae) on the water weed Salvinia molesta." Entomologia Experimentalis et Applicata 42: 231-237.

Thomas PA, Room PM. 1986. "Taxonomy and control of Salvinia molesta." Nature 320: 581-584.

Tipping PW, Martin MR, Center TD, Davern TM. 2008. "Suppression of Salvinia molesta Mitchell in Texas and Louisiana by Cyrtobagous salviniae Calder and Sands." Aquatic Botany 88: 196-202.

Winston RL, Schwarzländer M, Hinz HL, Day MD, Cock MJW, Julien MH. (Eds.) 2014. Biological Control of Weeds: A World Catalogue of Agents and Their Target Weeds, 5th edition. USDA Forest Service, Forest Health Technology Enterprise Team. Morgantown, WV. 838 pp.

Copyright (c) 2019 UF/IFAS