Location: Sustainable Perennial Crops LaboratoryTitle: Increasing coffee berry borer (Hypothenemus hampei; Curculionidae: Scolytinae) female density in artificial diet decreases fecundity) Author
Submitted to: Journal of Economic Entomology
Publication Type: Peer reviewed journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 11/17/2010
Publication Date: 2/15/2011
Citation: Vega, F.E., Kramer, M.H., Jaramillo, J. 2011. Increasing coffee berry borer (Hypothenemus hampei; Curculionidae: Scolytinae) female density in artificial diet decreases fecundity. Journal of Economic Entomology. 104:87-93. Interpretive Summary: The coffee berry borer is the most devastating pest of coffee throughout the world and causes millions of dollars in losses each year. Increased knowledge on the basic biology of the coffee berry borer can result in new insights on how to control this insect, thereby reducing losses and increasing yields. In this paper we report that the fecundity of females is reduced when these are in the presence of other females. Reduced fecundity could explain why one colonizing female per berry is the norm in coffee plantations, and might be due to the production of oviposition deterrent compounds. This information will be of use to coffee scientists, entomologists, ecologists, and the coffee industry.
Technical Abstract: Three experiments were conducted to determine the influence of number of coffee berry borer females (1, 2, or 5) reared in artificial diet on fecundity and subsequent development of larvae, pupae and adults. When data for the three different experiments were analyzed, decreased fecundity was observed in all. An increase of females from 1 to 2 or 5 did not result in the expected two- or five-fold increase in progeny. The mechanism reducing fecundity was not identified, but it might be possible that volatiles (e.g., host-marking pheromones) are being produced. The decrease in fecundity may explain why infestations of only one colonizing female per berry are the norm in the field.