pink bollworm, destructive larva of a moth, Pectinophora gossypiella. Probably of Native American origin, it is a serious pest of cotton in the S United States, chiefly along the Mexican border. The larva feeds on the blossoms, lint, and seeds of cotton and may pupate in the buds. It causes a 20% to 50% crop loss in infested areas. The pink bollworm is classified in the phylum Arthropoda, class Insecta, order Lepidoptera, family Gelechiidae.
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