Journal of Insect Conservation

, Volume 17, Issue 4, pp 737–745 | Cite as

The ecology and conservation of Hadramphus tuberculatus (Pascoe 1877) (Coleoptera: Curculionidae: Molytinae)

  • Emily D. FountainEmail author
  • Benjamin H. Wiseman
  • Robert H. Cruickshank
  • Adrian M. Paterson
Original Paper


The critically endangered weevil, Hadramphus tuberculatus (Pascoe 1877), was considered extinct until its rediscovery in 2004. Once widespread throughout the Canterbury Plains, currently the only known population is at Burkes Pass Scenic Reserve, Canterbury, New Zealand. Little information regarding the ecology and behaviour of this species has been recorded. A mark-recapture study was conducted over 3 years (2009–2011) to obtain more information on the population size, sex-ratio, and weevil movement within the reserve. Non-lethal pitfall traps were used for live capture of H. tuberculatus; weevils were measured, sexed, photographed, and given a unique ID on the elytra. Analysis of the mark-recapture data indicated a decrease in population size over the 3 years with estimated population sizes of 138 in 2009, 90 in 2010 and 76 in 2011. The sex-ratio of the population was even. In addition to mark-recapture, methods of captive rearing were explored. The results from this study will be used to assist conservation of H. tuberculatus and provide valuable information for developing an ex situ breeding program. We suggest that the population is vulnerable and must be carefully managed if extinction is to be avoided.


Canterbury knobbled weevil Hadramphus tuberculatus Mark-recapture New Zealand Captive rearing Critically endangered 



We like to thank the Miss E L Hellaby Indigenous Grasslands Research Trust for providing funding for this research. Also, we like to thank After Environment Canterbury, Mohamed bin Zayed Species Conservation Fund and the Department of Conservation for providing financial assistance for the 2011 field season. Thank you to Mike Bowie for help with the weevil. Furthermore, we want to acknowledge Victoria Smith for assistance with editing and formatting.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Emily D. Fountain
    • 1
    Email author
  • Benjamin H. Wiseman
    • 1
  • Robert H. Cruickshank
    • 1
  • Adrian M. Paterson
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Ecology, Faculty of Agriculture and Life SciencesLincoln UniversityChristchurchNew Zealand

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