Rehydration of Frozen Boll Weevils to Provide a Supply of "Fresh" Weevils for Quality Control in Boll Weevil Eradication Programs

Carlson, Jason W.; Wood, Leeda A.; Bartels, David W.
September 2013
Southwestern Entomologist;Sep2013, Vol. 38 Issue 3, p379
Academic Journal
Field capture of boll weevils, Anthonomus grandis Boheman, in pheromone traps adjacent to fields of cotton, Gossypium hirsutum L., and along fence lines and roads is an important tool used by Boll Weevil Eradication Programs to monitor abundance of the insect pest. For quality control, previously collected and frozen boll weevils are marked with fingerprint powder. Program supervisors randomly spike boll weevil traps with marked boll weevils to monitor recovery by program trappers. One problem, however, is that dead boll weevils placed in traps desiccate rapidly, rendering them fragile and prone to breakage, which makes identification difficult. This study evaluated methods for marking and rehydrating desiccated boll weevils by measuring the length of time boll weevils remain pliable and intact. An alcohol-based hand sanitizer was used for rehydration, and three fluorescing markers were tested to determine the duration of boll weevil pliability and fluorescence. Boll weevils treated with hand sanitizer were pliable significantly longer than were dried weevils, P < 0.0001, and remained intact 2 to 4 days longer All boll weevils retained the three applied fluorescent markers throughout each experiment.


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