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item Greenberg, Shoil
item Spurgeon, Dale
item Sappington, Thomas
item SETAMOU, M.

Submitted to: Journal of Economic Entomology
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 1/30/2005
Publication Date: 6/14/2005
Citation: Greenberg, S.M., Spurgeon, D.W., Sappington, T.W., Setamou, M. 2005. Size-dependent feeding and reproduction by the boll weevil (Coleoptera: Curculionidae). Journal of Economic Entomology. 98:749-756.

Interpretive Summary: The boll weevil is an important cotton pest that damages cotton by puncturing and laying eggs in flower buds and small fruit. Research is needed to determine the effects of weevil body weight on feeding and reproductive activity. Heavier male and female weevils produced more punctures than did lighter weevils. Female weevils that weighed more than 10 mg lived longer, laid more eggs, and produced more offspring than lighter females. Even the smallest weevils produced offspring. Because light body weight reduces weevil reproduction and survival, crop management that promotes production of small adult weevils may be used to limit weevil population growth. Better knowledge of the biological relationships between weevils and cotton plants will lead to the development of environmentally-safe and efficient pest management strategies.

Technical Abstract: It is widely known that the boll weevil, Anthonomus grandis grandis Boheman, exhibits considerable variation in adult size, but the influences of adult size on reproduction and population dynamics are not known. We examined the relationship between the size of boll weevils and their feeding and oviposition. Weevils weighed to the nearest milligram were grouped into five categories based on pupal weight: 10 mg produced progeny with significantly higher survival to adulthood, and also produced a higher percentage of female progeny, than those with pupal weights 10 mg averages 1.8-fold higher than those of females weighing 10 mg than when their pupal weights were