Submitted to: Journal of Pest Science
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 6/6/2011
Publication Date: 1/1/2012
Citation: Grilli, M.P., Bruno, M.A., Pedemonte, M.L., Showler, A. 2012. Boll weevil invasion process in Argentina. Journal of Pest Science. 85(1):47-54. Interpretive Summary: During the early 1990s, the boll weevil was found in Argentina and it has since spread to that country’s main cotton-growing area. Using pheromone traps, this study shows how boll weevils spread and became established in some of those areas. It was determined that temporal autocorrelation was occurring and that the presence of alternative host plants that facilitate overwintering in the absence of cotton contributed toward the pest’s establishment.
Technical Abstract: The boll weevil, Anthonomus grandis grandis Boheman, is the most destructive cotton pest in the Western Hemisphere. In 1993, the pest was reported in Argentina, and in 1994 boll weevils were captured in cotton fields in the Formosa Province on the border between Argentina and Paraguay. The pest has subsequently moved to new areas and in 2006 it was reported in Argentina’s main cotton growing region. This study describes mechanisms involved in the first stages of the boll weevil invasion into areas of Argentina using a network of pheromone traps from 1997 to 2000 in Pilcomayo and Pilagás departments. A temporal autocorrelation analysis of the numbers of collected boll weevils in seven localities, and a synchrony analysis of 70 rural settlements for the 1997–2000 period, were the approaches we used to characterize boll weevil dispersal and establishment. Total abundances of boll weevils varied but a positive correlation between total number of individuals captured and the number of traps that captured them was detected. While short term temporal autocorrelation was observed, spatial synchrony was not found. The role of alternative hosts in facilitating the advance of boll weevils into Argentina is discussed.