Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Boll weevil

Today's species is the Boll Weevil (Anthonomus grandis) which originally comes from Mexico, where it feeds on wild cotton. Unfortunately, around 1892 it crossed the Rio Grande and entered the United States. What it found were huge and rich cotton plantations which mean rich food resources for them. Nowadays, it does hundreds of millions of dollars’ worth of damage to cotton crops every year.

The Boll Weevil belongs to one of the most diverse insect groups, the weevils. Over 3,000 species live in North America alone, 60,000 are currently known to science. They can be recognized by elbowed antennae and many of them have a prolonged snout. At the tip of this snout is their mouth. Depending on the species, weevils range in size from about 3 mm to over 10 mm in length. They are usually dark-colored—brownish to black. Some have scales or shiny hairs covering part of their bodies.

Nearly all known weevils are vegetarians both as larva and adults. Hardly any plant is not affected by at least one species of weevil.

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