Pepper weevil, Anthonomus eugenii Cano, is the major arthropod pest of peppers, Capsicum spp. L., in tropical and subtropical America. Adult weevils feed and oviposit in buds, flowers, and, especially, fruit. Larvae develop and feed inside those plant structures, thus reducing crop yields. Management is difficult and requires precise knowledge of developmental times and thresholds for maximum efficiency. Therefore, the developmental biology and life history parameters of A. eugenii were characterized in the laboratory on Capsicum annuum ’Jalapeño’ fruits at seven constant temperatures ranging from 15 to 33°C. A. eugenii developed through three instars at all temperatures. Linear regression analysis estimated a lower developmental threshold of 9.6°C and a degree-day requirement of 256.4 for development from egg to adult. Fecundity increased with increasing temperatures to a maximum at 30°C but declined at 33°C. Net reproductive rate (Ro), intrinsic rate of increase (rm), and finite rate of increase (λ) were greatest at 30°C, whereas development time and mortality were least at this temperature regimen. Thus, 30°C proved to be the optimal temperature for population increase because a maximum fecundity of 3.1 eggs/female/d, the shortest development time of 12.9 d, minimal mortality, and the highest life history parameters were obtained. This information should prove useful for predicting infestations, timing insecticide applications, and using other control strategies.
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