Friday, November 12, 2010

8. Coffee Borer Beetle ( Hypothenemus hampei )


First off. I don't like coffee. But sooooo many people do so this little bugger is bad. :P Once again I don't know squat about these so you'll be learning with me.

YAY! *^^* So anyway as for pictures forget it. All I could find were pics of dead specimens and the one pic that I could've used is blurry. Bad quality. But you'll get to see it anyway cause it's on the Wikipedia article that I'm quoting below ( do extra research ).

Did anyone spot the "bad quality" pun in there? Cookies if you have.

The coffee berry borer, Hypothenemus hampei, is a small beetle native to Africa. It is recognized as the most harmful pest to coffee crops worldwide. The insect affects over seventy countries, mainly in Latin America.

The maturation of the insect (from egg to adult) lasts between 24 and 45 days, varying according to the weather. Usually, the female drills the berry through the central disc, although it can enter through the side walls if the fruit is dry. Two days after the access, the beetle lays 35–50 eggs, which produce 13 females for each male.

The lifespan for females is 35–190 days and for males 40 days. The new insects mate inside the seed. Some females lay the eggs in the same coffee plant, others colonise new ones. The males never leave the fruit.

The same plant can host three to five generations of beetles. Up to a hundred beetles can be found in a single fruit. The insect is very sensitive to desiccation, and waits for the rains to leave the fruit. The most affected areas in the crops are the shady and moist ones.

Fascinating huh? And now for something you and I would've never thought possible ( unless you know better ):

Parthenogenetic Beetles!

Is there such a thing? Yup! It's mentioned in said article. I will look into this more to confirm it and also see if other species of beetles are like this.

Bloody fascinating I tell you. This is why I love insects. All the surprises!

What they threaten: Hawaii's coffee growers, an estimated $60 million industry.

Modus operandi: These insects, which are well-known in Central America and South America, were recently discovered in Hawaii by a University of Hawaii graduate student. The bug bores into the coffee cherry and lays its eggs. As soon as the larvae, the juvenile coffee borers, arrive on the scene, they instantly feeding on the coffee bean. Borers typically ruin about 20 percent of a crop and do an estimated $500 million in damage every year.

Fun fact: The coffee cherry borer is a small beetle, about the size of a sesame seed.

- AOL Small Business

Holy....$500 million a year?! I told you they were bad.

* And that ladies and gents concludes this "series" of mine. Thank you! You've been a wonderful audience! *^^*

What's cooking next: The Hall of Shame.......dun dun dun....^^

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