top of page

Common Name: Boll Weevil

Scientific Name: Anthonomus grandis

Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Coleopteran
Family: Curculionidae
Genus: Anthonomus
Species: A. grandis



Have you ever wondered what an Anthonomus grandis was? It means boll weevil, most people didn’t even know it existed but it does.The boll weevil’s have been found anywhere from 1/8 on an inch to ½ an inch. Adults are usually green, brown, and grayish and really fuzzy. They have prominent snouts or bills bearing the mouthparts. Larval stages, found inside cotton squares and bolls, are legless grubs with brown heads that grow to about ½ inch long before forming a pupa that resembles the adult features but appears mummy-like, and they are in there full size when they hatch.

Its habitat and food; Mouthparts are for chewing. This insect feeds and develops only in cotton and closely related tropical plants. Adult weevils feed on tender cotton terminals in the spring; pollen in cotton squares also known as flower buds and bolls or fruit. Weevils drill holes into the squares or bolls with their chewing mouthparts at the tip of their snout.


Some of these feeding sites are used to lay eggs in by the females. After inserting the egg into the feeding puncture, she secretes a sticky substance that covers the cavity that hardens and makes a wart like blemish. Infested cotton squares or bolls turn yellow and falls off the plant. Larger infested bolls may not drop, but cotton lint developing in these bolls is damaged. Heavily infested cotton may produce much foliage but few mature bolls.

The boll weevil is not native to the United States.


It originated in Mexico and Central America where it fed on native tree cottons. It probably adapted to domesticated cottons in Central America in Columbian times. It was first found in the United States in Texas, about 1892. The boll weevil spread across the Cotton Belt at an average rate of about 60 miles a year and made it to the Carolinas by 1922. It was first detected in Missouri about 1913.

The boll weevil is pretty interesting, in groups they can take full cotton fields out in 72rs and they lay about twenty-five eggs at a time and die about twelve after they have their eggs. And that they have their own monument in Alabama. Those are just something’s that I’ve learned.

Author: Gerardo Garcia
Date Published: 1/2013

Photo Credit:

bottom of page