The pepper weevil, Anthonomus eugenii Cano (Coleoptera: Curculionidae), is the most economically important insect pest of peppers. Management studies for A. eugenii require a large and readily available supply of the insects. Our objective was to develop a rearing method for A. eugenii in the laboratory using 1.5-cm diameter glass balls covered with pepper leaves and Parafilm® M (American National Can, Greenwich, CT). Adults collected from either field or laboratory colonies were equally suitable for initiating colonies or for use in experiments. Glass balls with a layer of pepper leaves covered with parafilm provided an effective substrate for obtaining eggs and larvae when maintained at 26 ± 2°C, 60 ± 20% relative humidity, and at a 14:10 h (L:D) photoperiod. Under these conditions, the highest egg production from colonies using leaf balls and supplemental nourishment was obtained from mature, untreated pepper leaves. Mean (± SE) durations of the pre-oviposition, oviposition, and post-oviposition periods were 2.9 (± 1.2) d, 32.3 (± 4.3) d, and 34.0 (± 11.6) d, respectively. Females produced 54.3 ± 4.3 eggs over their adult lifespan of 59.8 ± 4.9 d; male adult longevity was 80.3 ± 5.9 d. Maximum numbers of eggs or larvae were removed from the leaf balls 4–12 d after adults were introduced. Either a small brush or a sieve with water proved to be equally effective for separating A. eugenii eggs from the leaf balls. We also successfully reared A. eugenii on a diet originally developed for boll weevils, Anthonomus grandis Boheman.
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