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Weeping lovegrass as an overwintering habitat for the boll weevil (Coleoptera: Curculionidae)

Brown, C.M., Phillips, S.A. Jr.
Journal of economic entomology 1989 v.82 no.3 pp. 799-802
Anthonomus grandis, habitats, overwintering, Eragrostis curvula, Gossypium, host plants, plant pests, Texas
Weeping lovegrass, Eragrostis curvula (Schrader) Nees von Esenbeck, is planted along contour terraces on the High Plains of Texas to reduce soil erosion by water and wind. However, this cropping system may provide a suitable overwintering habitat for the boll weevil, Anthonomus grandis grandis Boherman, when it is planted adjacent to cotton. West of the Caprock escarpment that divides the High Plains and Rolling Plains, no suitable habitat has existed previously. To determine the potential of weeping lovegrass as an overwintering habitat, boll weevil emergence was compared with that of the known, favorable habitat of leaf litter from the shinnery oak, Quercus harvardii (Rydberg), in Motley County, Tex. Diapausing boll weevils were placed in emergence cages in both habitats during the winters of 1984-1985 and 1985-1986. Boll weevils more successfully overwintered in the shinnery oak leaf litter the first season than in the weeping lovegrass (31 versus 25%). However, survival was higher in lovegrass than in shinnery oak the second season (24 versus 9%). We conclude that weeping lovegrass can serve as an overwintering habitat for the boll weevil.