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Title: The coffee berry borer, Hypothenemus hampei: how many instars are there?

item Vega, Fernando

Submitted to: Annals of the Entomological Society of America
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 1/22/2015
Publication Date: 5/1/2015
Citation: Gomez, J., Chavez, B., Castillo, A., Valle, F., Vega, F.E. 2015. The coffee berry borer, Hypothenemus hampei: How many instars are there? Annals of the Entomological Society of America. 108:311-315.

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. It is important to understand the basic biology of the insect in order to develop effective pest management programs. In this paper we report on conclusive evidence that shows that females coffee berry borer have two larval instars with the prepupal stage forming part of the second larval instar. This information will be of use to coffee scientists, entomologists, and the coffee industry.

Technical Abstract: After more than a century since the description of the coffee berry borer, Hypothenemus hampei (Ferrari), and dozens of scientific articles on the basic biology of the insect, there is still debate on the number of female larval instars. This paper analyzes the metamorphosis of H. hampei females through direct observations during its entire biological cycle in the laboratory, together with scanning electron microscope photos. Also, the size of the head capsule of wild larvae and prepupae was analyzed with Dyar’s rule and a discriminating analysis was conducted. Only two instars were observed during H. hampei metamorphosis up to the adult stage. Contrasting morphological changes in the larvae occurred when they transformed into prepupae, with no previous ecdysis. The statistical analysis revealed that the width of the cephalic masses form two significantly distinct groups before transformation into pupa, confirming that the prepupal stage forms part of the second larval instar.