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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Title: Longevity of adult boll weevils fed selected non-pollen food sources

Authors
item Showler, Allan
item Abrigo, Veronica

Submitted to: National Cotton Council Beltwide Cotton Conference
Publication Type: Proceedings
Publication Acceptance Date: February 16, 2007
Publication Date: May 12, 2007
Citation: Showler, A., Abrigo, V. 2007. Longevity of Adult Boll Weevils Fed Selected NonPollen Food Sources. National Cotton Council Beltwide Cotton Conference, Memphis, TN. pp. 352-355.

Interpretive Summary: It is known that substantial boll weevil, Anthonomus grandis grandis Boheman, populations can survive mild subtropical winters in some habitats, such as citrus orchards, but it is not known what, if anything, they feed on. This study assessed the capacity of selected nonpollen boll weevil food sources common to subtropical and tropical environments for their capacities to support boll weevils and to enable gravidity and fecundity. Although adult boll weevils did not produce eggs when fed exclusively on the endocarps of prickly pear or orange, these plants made it possible for some boll weevils to survive cotton-free winter periods lasting more than five months.

Technical Abstract: It is known that substantial boll weevil, Anthonomus grandis grandis Boheman, populations survive subtropical winters in some habitats, such as citrus orchards. Our study shows that endocarps of the fruit from prickly pear cactus, Opuntia engelmannii Salm-Dyck ex. Engel.; and orange, Citrus sinensis (L.) Osbeck., can sustain newly-emerged adult boll weevil for more than five months, which is the duration of the cotton-free season in the subtropical Lower Rio Grande Valley of Texas. Cotton, Gossypium hirsutum L., and the boll weevil occur in the same areas with one or both plant species from South Texas to Argentina. These alternate food sources make it possible for boll weevils, active year-round in the subtropics, to survive from one cotton growing season to the next.

Last Modified: 7/25/2014
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