Several years ago I wrote my first draft for the weevil guide, and despite actively searching for it I have never found Curculio nucum, the hazel weevil.
To add insult to injury my house is literally surrounded by decent sized hazel trees and this beetle is fairly common on its food plant.
For the past 3 years I have been beating every suitable looking hazel into submission to hopefully yield the covered V.nucum, yet every single time I have come up blank.
This weekend I accompanied the Herts Invertebrate Project to Heartwood forest, one of the woodland trust sites in Hertfordshire. After exploring the ancient Woodlands we came to a lunch spot on a reserved meadow area, and Hertfordshire record centre guru Ian Carle mentioned he had found the Hazel leaf roller weevil on 'that tre over there's A beetle I've yet to see, but it was already too late in the year for it, however the fact there was hazel on sight filled me with a glimmer of hope, would today be the day?
After a leisurely lunch the clouds were beginning to become a little more ominous, spurring me into action.
Out came my beating sheet, and a couple of vigorous bashes later, out popped a Curculio.
And there it was Curculio nucum, and a smart specimen at that.
We found few rarities that day ( admittedly it's a little late in the season and the Rhagonycha fulva are already out in full force). But It was a small victory for this Coleopterist before the heavens opened and my beatsheet hastily became an improvised rain guard!