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Location

  • San Diego Zoo

Species Collection

Gardens

Plants: Species

Cycad: Mexican Cycad, Cardboard Palm Zamia furfuracea

FAMILY: ZAMIACEAE (Cycad Family)

One of our favorite cycad pollinators is the snout weevil, because it has such a cool name! Snout weevils pollinate the Mexican cycad Zamia furfuracea by laying their eggs in the male cones. Once hatched, the new adult snout weevils head for the female cones, inadvertently carrying pollen along for the ride, thus fertilizing the cycad's eggs. When the Zoo horticulturists need to fertilize a particular plant's eggs and find they are short on snout weevils, they use safety swabs to do the job. It's more mundane perhaps, but still effective.