boll weevil

(redirected from boll weevils)
Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus.

boll weevil

or

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
..... Click the link for more information.
, 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.
..... Click the link for more information.
) 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.
..... Click the link for more information.
, 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.
..... Click the link for more information.
, class Insecta, order Coleoptera, family Curculionidae.

Bibliography

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 ?
The seeds were in fact genetically modified seeds by multinational monster corporation Monsanto--MON on the New York Stock Exchange for those out of the loop--which promised farmers that with GM cotton seed, never again would they have to deal with the evil cotton boll weevil, a pestilence that destroyed about half their annual crop.
The boll weevils that they had thought of as the "meanest bugs" caused them to change their lives for the better.
Mitchell & Hardee (1974) found that boll weevil traps are not representative of field populations with regard to sex ratio, reporting that pheromone traps captured more A.
In the first week, the researchers found that the traps were capturing a type of weevil distinctly different from the boll weevils they expected.
Lawmakers recently raised questions about President Bush's proposed Homeland Security Department, such as the wisdom of having the new agency oversee farm programs such as boll weevil eradication and moving all of USDA's Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) to the proposed new department.
Cotton production in the Southeast disappeared prior to boll weevil eradication.
MPS also is developing hybrids with Bt-based resistance to corn rootworms, another significant corn pest, and is transforming cotton varieties with synthetic Bt genes that protect the plants from budworms, bollworms and boll weevils.
When growers want to eliminate such pests as fruit flies, mosquitoes and boll weevils, they often turn to malathion, an insecticide generally considered safe for use around people and animals.
Farmers who once spent their time figuring out how to get rid of grub worms and boll weevils now rise early to tap their PCs, calculating how to get the most from the federal government.
The Boll Weevils (4-7, 3-5) also return leading rusher Nakita Myles, who gained 680 yards on 136 carries with seven touchdowns.
Hundreds of boll weevils were turning up in their fields.