Isotornus aterrimus Wollaston

Black Saint Helena Weevil (Isotornus aterrimus)   

The Black Saint Helena Weevil was described in 1877, it was endemic to the island of Saint Helena in the southern Atlantic Ocean.  

The species was adapted to a single food plant, the endemic Boxwood (Mellissia begoniifolia (Roxb.) Hook. f.), a highly threatened shrubby species that was even extinct in the wild.  

T. V. Wollaston, the author of the species writes in 1877.:  

The present Isotornus is due to the researches of Mr. P. Whitehead, who has lately communicated to me an interesting series of examples which he captured, within the dead wood of the Mellissia begoniaefolia (or native “Boxwood”), on Rock-Rose Hill.” [1]  


The species was not found during intensive field searches in 1965/66 and 2005/06 and is most probably extinct.  



[1] T. Vernon Wollaston: Coleoptera Sanctae-Helenae. London: John Van Voorst, Paternoster Row 1877 
[2] Howard Mendel; Philip Ashmole; Myrtle Ashmole: Invertebrates of the Central Peaks and Peak Dale, St. Helena. Report for the St Helena National Trust, Jamestown 2008  


edited: 02.12.2018