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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Title: Microbial Control of the Pecan Weevil, Curculio Caryae, (Coleoptera: Curculionidae)

Author
item Shapiro Ilan, David

Submitted to: Southwestern Entomologist
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: July 10, 2002
Publication Date: December 1, 2003
Citation: Shapiro Ilan, D.I. 2003. Microbial control of the pecan weevil, curculio caryae, (Coleoptera: Curculionidae). Southwestern Entomologist Supplement. p.100-114.

Interpretive Summary: The pecan weevil is a major pest of pecans throughout the Southeast. The objective of this paper is to provide an updated review, analysis and new data on the potential for using microbial control to suppress the pecan weevil. Microbial control agents (which may include virus, bacteria, protozoa, fungi, or nematodes) are natural environmentally friendly pesticides that can be used to suppress a pest population. Protozoa, virus, and bacteria appear to have little potential as microbial control agents of the pecan weevil. Several fungi occur naturally in pecan weevils and have considerable potential as control agents. Nematodes possess only low to moderate virulence to pecan weevil larvae, but some species particularly are highly virulent to adults. More research is needed to develop fungi and nematodes as control agents for pecan weevil.

Technical Abstract: The pecan weevil, Curculio caryae (Horn) is a key pest of pecans throughout the Southeast. The objective of this paper is to provide an updated review and analysis of the potential for using microbial control to suppress C. caryae. No protozoan and only one virus disease has been reported in C. caryae, and thus the microbial control potential of these groups appears to be limited. Bacteria appear to have only low to moderate potential as microbial control agents of C. caryae due to low infectivity, poor virulence, or perhaps safety issues. Several fungi in the sub-division Deuteromycotina have been found to occur naturally in C. caryae the most common being Beauveria bassiana and Metarhizium anisopliae, which have considerable potential as control agents. Several nematodes have been reported in C. caryae but only the genera Steinernema and Heterorhabditis appear to have any promise as microbial control agents. Although these nematodes possess only low to moderate virulence to C. caryae larvae, some species, particularly S. carpocapsae, are highly virulent to adults. Overall, microbial control research on C. caryae is in its early stages and would benefit from further research.

Last Modified: 4/19/2014