Journal or Book Title
Journal of the Royal Society, Interface
An unexpected outbreak of boll weevils, Anthonomus grandis, an insect pest of cotton, across the Southern Rolling Plains (SRP) eradication zone of west-central Texas, USA, was detected soon after passage of Tropical Storm Erin through the Winter Garden district to the south on 16 August 2007. The synchrony and broad geographic distribution of the captured weevils suggest that long-distance dispersal was responsible for the reinvasion. We integrated three types of assessment to reconstruct the geographic origin of the immigrants: (i) DNA fingerprinting; (ii) pollen fingerprinting; and (iii) atmospheric trajectory analysis. We hypothesized the boll weevils originated in the Southern Blacklands zone near Cameron, or in the Winter Garden district near Uvalde, the nearest regions with substantial populations. Genetic tests broadly agree that the immigrants originated southeast of the SRP zone, probably in regions represented by Uvalde or Weslaco. The SRP pollen profile from weevils matched that of Uvalde better than that of Cameron. Wind trajectories supported daily wind-aided dispersal of weevils from the Uvalde region to the SRP from 17 to 24 August, but failed to support migration from the Cameron region. Taken together the forensic evidence strongly implicates the Winter Garden district near Uvalde as the source of reinvading boll weevils.
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Kim, Kyung Seok; Jones, Gretchen D.; Westbrook, John K.; and Sappington, Thomas W., "Multidisciplinary fingerprints: forensic reconstruction of an insect reinvasion" (2010). Entomology Publications. 217.