Submitted to: National Cotton Council Beltwide Cotton Conference
Publication Type: Proceedings
Publication Acceptance Date: January 11, 2002
Publication Date: N/A
Interpretive Summary: Limited survival of overwintered boll weevils on pre-fruiting stage cotton has been identified as a key factor influencing the use of pest management methods such as uniform delayed planting. Previous survival studies of overwintered boll weevils fed pre-fruiting cotton were not conducted under controlled conditions, and consequently results have been variable. In this study, average survival of boll weevils fed seedling plants was longe (81 days) than that of weevils fed plants with four true leaves (62 days) when held at a constant temperature of 75 degrees F. Boll weevils only lived about 7 days with no food. These results indicate overwintered boll weevils can survive considerably longer on pre-fruiting cotton than previously recognized. These findings may influence the timing and implementation of early-season pest management targeting overwintered boll weevils.
Technical Abstract: Previous investigations of the longevity of overwintered boll weevils on pre-fruiting cotton have yielded variable results. However, environmental conditions were generally not controlled in these studies. We re-examined the longevity of overwintered boll weevils fed pre-fruiting cotton under controlled conditions. Trap-captured overwintered boll weevils were held at 24 +/- 1 degree C and were supplies water alone, cotyledon stage, and four-leaf stage cotton seedlings. Longevities of males and females were similar. Overwintered weevils survived an average of about 7 days on water alone, 81 days on cotyledon stage plants, and 62 days on four-leaf stage plants. Maximum observed longevity was 157 days. Our results indicate substantially longer longevities on pre-fruiting cotton than have been previously reported.