boll weevil

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boll weevil


cotton boll weevil

(bōl), cotton-eating weevilweevil,
common name for certain beetles of the snout beetle family (Curculionidae), small, usually dull-colored, hard-bodied insects. The mouthparts of snout beetles are modified into down-curved snouts, or beaks, adapted for boring into plants; the jaws are at the end of the
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, or snout beetle, Anthonomus grandis. Probably of Mexican or Central American origin, it appeared in Texas about 1892 and spread to most cotton-growing regions of the United States. Over the years the weevil became a significant pest, destroying about 8% of the annual U.S. cotton crop. Boll weevil devastation was a major reason for diversification of the South's historic cotton economy. In 1978, however, the U.S. Dept. of Agriculture began a concerted eradication campaign. By the end of the century the weevil had disappeared from from most of the nation except Texas, Louisiana, and Mississippi, where the campaign continued.

The young adult is grayish, darkening with age, and about 1-4 in. (6 mm) long, with a long snout for boring into the cotton boll, or seed pod, where weevils feed on the cotton fibers. Weevils may also invade cotton flower buds before they mature into bolls. Females lay eggs within the bud or the boll, where pupation (see insectinsect,
invertebrate animal of the class Insecta of the phylum Arthropoda. Like other arthropods, an insect has a hard outer covering, or exoskeleton, a segmented body, and jointed legs. Adult insects typically have wings and are the only flying invertebrates.
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) occurs. The larvae eat the entire contents of the boll. Metamorphosis from egg to adult takes about three weeks; from 2 to 10 generations occur each season. The weevil's resistance to some poisons, and the removal of some poisons from the market, have encouraged Integrated Pest ManagementIntegrated Pest Management
(IPM), planned program that coordinates economically and environmentally acceptable methods of pest control with the judicious and minimal use of toxic pesticides.
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, e.g., the use of safer insecticides, synthetic growth regulators, and pheromone traps, and the release of sterile males to frustrate reproduction. Adults are also controlled by elimination of field litter, especially cotton stalks, in which they overwinter. Short-season cotton, bred to mature early, escapes much damage from weevil larvae.

The boll weevil is classified in the phylum ArthropodaArthropoda
[Gr.,=jointed feet], largest and most diverse animal phylum. The arthropods include crustaceans, insects, centipedes, millipedes, spiders, scorpions, and the extinct trilobites.
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, class Insecta, order Coleoptera, family Curculionidae.


See P. P. Sikorowski et al., Boll Weevil Mass Rearing Technology (1984); G. Matthews and J. Tunstall, Insect Pests of Cotton (1992).

boll weevil

[′bōl ‚wē·vəl]
(invertebrate zoology)
A beetle, Anthonomus grandis, of the order Coleoptera; larvae destroy cotton plants and are the most important pests in agriculture.
References in periodicals archive ?
Because Mississippi is part of the Boll Weevil Eradication Program, one has to request a permit from the Department of Agriculture to plant ornamental cotton.
Ryan's ability to find such relationships--this is the first published account of any mention of "the boll weevil connection"--is part of what makes this study so entertaining and prosperous to read.
Although population outbreaks of boll weevil would be associated with agricultural expansion in the tropics, boll weevil naturally occurs in South America since before the extensive cultivation of cotton in the region, their presence has been ignored until 1949, due to the scarce weevil collecting, especially in the native areas (Scataglini et al.
Charlie Rawlings's ascendancy in the New South was an American success story until the Great War and boll weevil destroyed not only his personal fortune but also the fortunes of many other Southerners.
Whether a state agency like the Mississippi Board of Pharmacy or the Texas Boll Weevil Eradication Foundation will be able to benefit from state action immunity from federal antitrust law will thus depend on the circuit and how strictly it analyzes the agency's structure for signs of privateness.
Monsanto, unfortunately, also forgot to tell the farmers that boll weevils were pretty tough little buggers, so tough that they built resistance to the gene in the cotton seed that previously they had succumbed to, and became super boll weevils, reconfiguring their genetic makeup, multiplying like flies and eating every fresh young cotton head they could sink their mandibles into.
Boll weevil (Anthonomus grandis Boheman) (Coleoptera: Curculionidae) dispersal in the southern United States: Evidence from mitochondrial DNA variation.
Without the devastation of the boll weevil and Sessions' innovation, the peanut industry in Alabama might never have been born.
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The '76 Congress contained enough boll weevil Dems to provide a close fight for any piece of legislation.
Este trabajo fue financiado por el Common Fund for Commodities a traves del "Project on Integrated Pest Management of the Cotton Boll Weevil in Argentina, Brazil and Paraguay CFC/ICAC/04".