The alfalfa leaf-weevil (Phytonomus murinus Fab.) which has during the last three years been doing considerable damage in the central part of this State, is a European insect which by some means unknown has been introduced in to Utah. The species appears to be not uncommon throughout Europe and parts of Asia and Africa. It belongs to the large order of hard-shelled insects called beetles (Coleoptera) and in a group generally called snout-beetles (Family Curculionidae). To this same group belong many of our most serious pests, such as the plum curculio, cotton boll-weevil and strawberry weevil.
It occurs over all of Europe, a portion of northern Africa and eastern Asia. It probably occurs throughout all of the regions in which alfalfa is cultivated in the eastern hemisphere but rarely causing damage sufficient to be reported. Heeger (3) has given a brief synopsis of its life history and work.
This weevil belongs to a genus of insects which feed principally upon leguminous plants and several species in the genus have been introduced into the United States and Canada. Two of these, the clover leaf-weevil (P. punctatus), and the lesser clover leaf-weevil (P. nigirostris), have done considerable damage to the clover crop in the eastern and central states and the former has been reported as injuring clover in Oregon. They also feed on alfalfa and other related plants.
Titus, E. G., "Bulletin No. 110 - The Alfalfa Leaf-Weevil" (1910). UAES Bulletins. Paper 61.