Neotropical Entomology (2010) 39, 28-34

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Paulina de A. Ribeiro, Edison R. Sujii, Ivone R. Diniz, Maria A. de Medeiros, Maria L. Salgado-Labouriau, Marina C. Branco, Carmen S.S. Pires and Eliana M.G. Fontes (2010)
Alternative food sources and overwintering feeding behavior of the boll weevil, Anthonomus grandis Boheman (Coleoptera: Curculionidae) underthe tropical conditions of central Brazil
Neotropical Entomology 39 (1), 28-34
Abstract: The boll weevil causes serious damage to the cotton crop in South America. Several studies have been published on this pest, but its phenology and behavior under the tropical conditions prevailing in Brazil are not well-known. In this study the feeding behavior and main food sources of adult boll weevils throughout the year in Central Brazil was investigated. The digestive tract contents of insects captured in pheromone traps in two cotton fields and two areas of native vegetation (gallery forest and cerrado sensu stricto) were analyzed. The insect was captured all through the year only in the cerrado. It fed on pollen of 19 different plant families, on Pteridophyta and fungi spores and algae cysts. Simpson Index test showed that the cerrado provided greater diversity of pollen sources. In the beginning of the cotton cycle, the plant families used for pollen feeding were varied: in cotton area 1, the weevil fed on Poaceae(50%), Malvaceae and Smilacaceae (25% each); in cotton area 2 the pollen sources were Malvaceae (50%), Asteraceae (25%) and Fabaceae and Clusiaceae (25% each); in the cerrado they were Chenopodiaceae (67%) and Scheuchzeriaceae (33%). No weevils were collected in the gallery forest in this period. After cotton was harvested, the family Smilacaceae was predominant among the food plants exploited in all the study areas. These results help to explain the survivorship of adult boll weevil during cotton fallow season in Central Brazil and they are discussed in the context of behavioral adaptations to the prevailing tropical environmental conditions.
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Full text of article
Database assignments for author(s): Edison R. Sujii, Carmen S.S. Pires, Eliana M.G. Fontes

Research topic(s) for pests/diseases/weeds:
general biology - morphology - evolution


Pest and/or beneficial records:

Beneficial Pest/Disease/Weed Crop/Product Country Quarant.


Anthonomus grandis Cotton (Gossypium) Brazil (south)