Selection of hibernation sites by Anthonomus pomorum: Preferences and ecological consequences

St Toepfer, H. Gu, S. Dorn

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

14 Citations (Scopus)


The apple blossom weevil, Anthonomus pomorum (L.) (Coleoptera: Curculionidae), has a long period of aestivo-hibernation in the adult stage lasting from summer to early spring of the following year. Potential hibernation sites within an apple orchard consist of high-stem rough-bark trees or dwarf smooth-bark trees. Field release-recapture experiments in 2 consecutive years showed that 64 and 47% of the weevils remained in the vicinity of the release sites in an area of high-stem trees and dwarf trees, respectively. The dispersing weevils moved over an average distance of 5.5 m in the dwarf tree area, as compared to 3.8 m in the high-stem tree area. The prevalent direction of dispersal was along tree rows in both areas. Some weevils displayed, after release in mid-July, a directional dispersal to the adjacent forests. Others, released in the dwarf tree area, dispersed towards the area of high-stem rough-bark apple trees. Experiments simulating various hibernation sites demonstrated that the litter of dry leaves was the most preferred overwintering shelter, yielding a relatively high survival rate. Branches with rough bark ranked second, while branches with smooth bark, grass and pure soil were not favourable for overwintering. Flight tendency in newly emerged weevils of summer generation was significantly higher in June/July than in August/September. This corresponds to the dispersal behaviour in the field. The timing of spring colonisation of apple trees was similar for weevils overwintering within the orchard and for those from outside. These results suggest that modern, dwarf apple orchards offer unfavourable conditions for overwintering, but that the relatively small proportion of weevils which manage to reach the adjacent forests find optimal hibernation sites there.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)241-249
Number of pages9
JournalEntomologia Experimentalis et Applicata
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Jan 1 2000


  • Anthonomus pomorum
  • Apple blossom weevil
  • Apple orchard
  • Coleoptera
  • Curculionidae
  • Dispersal
  • Hibernation
  • Mark-release- recapture
  • Mortality

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Insect Science

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