Weevils are one the most easily recognizable groups of beetles. Containing over 60,000 species worldwide, the weevil superfamily, Curculionoidea (Coleoptera) is one of the largest taxonomic groups in the animal kingdom. Numerous studies have attempted to resolve the higher level phylogeny of this diverse assemblage with some success; most agree that Curculionoidea comprises 7 families: the Nemonychidae, Anthribidae, Belidae, Attelabidae, Caridae, Brentidae, and Curculionidae. Divisions between these families are marked by a series of key evolutionary events.
Weevils are associated with almost every plant species on Earth, which may have contributed to their phenomenal success. Studies indicate that the extreme diversification seen in higher Curculionoidea can likely be attributed to multiple shifts in association from conifers to angiosperms, as well as shifts in association with the different structures of these plants. A rich fossil record illustrates the fascinating history of these magnificent insects.
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