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.
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.