Boll weevil parasite surveys in the northern Texas rolling plains.
Between 1975 and 1979, unsprayed, dryland cotton fields were surveyed to determine the species composition and relative abundance of the parasite complex of Anthonomus grandis grandis Boh. in the rolling plains of northern Texas. Spring plants were also surveyed during 1978 and 1979 to identify alternative hosts of known boll weevil parasites. The 3 hymenopterans Bracon mellitor Say, Eurytoma gossypii Bugbee (herrerae (Ashm.)) and Catolaccus hunteri J. C. Crawford were reared from A. g. grandis, B. mellitor being the most abundant parasite. The relative abundance of the total parasite population was greater than that reported for other areas of the cotton belt. Two early-season hosts were found that were utilised by B. mellitor before boll weevil establishment in cotton; these were A. fulvus Lec. and Microlarinus lareynii (Duv.). Since minimal amounts of insecticides are applied to dryland cotton in the study area, the manipulation of these native parasites for use in existing boll weevil management programmes may be feasible.