Boll Weevil – Anthonomus grandis grandis

Boll Weevil, Anthonomus grandis grandis
Order Coleoptera Linnaeus, 1758
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 Sorry, but we lost the rights to the pictures… and we hope we never get to photograph this menace.
The Boll Weevil, Anthonomus grandis grandis, is a major pest of cotton that feeds on fruiting forms, leaf petioles, and terminal growth. They start on the terminals and leaf petioles, and then lay eggs in the cotton squares and later in the bolls. The larva within the squares and bolls stop the squares' growth and the bolls don't open properly or get boll rot.

The larvae are grubs about 3/8 inches in length and white colored with brown heads. The adults vary from 1/9 to 1/3 inch in length and turn from reddish brown to dark gray or black over time. They have long, slender snouts with chewing mouthparts at the tip and two spurs on the upper joint of the front legs.

Life Cycle
Adults overwinter and emerge in the spring and summer, but peak in May, and females feed and mate for 3-4 days before laying about 200 eggs in 10 days. The newly hatched larvae feeds on anthers and pollen in the squaresor lint in the bolls and begin pupating in 7-12 days that lasts 3-5 days. Each generation lives about three weeks and has 8 to 10 generations per season.

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Order Coleoptera: Beetles are the dominant form of life on earth: one of every five living species is a beetle. Coleoptera is the largest order in the animal kingdom, containing a third of all insect species. There are about 400,000 known species worldwide, ~30,000 of which live in North America.  Beetles live in nearly every habitat, and for every kind of food, there's probably a beetle species that eats it.
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