Broca (Coffee Berry Borer)

I’ve known about Broca (coffee berry borers) for a little while but in truth didn’t know that much about them.

Broca attacking the coffee

Broca attacking the coffee

For the coffee plant they are insect evil. If they ruin coffee by laying their young inside the fruit who then devour the bean. Not so good for a crop. Elliott’s article is a worthwhile read and I don’t have enough material here with me to write much more than this.

Quite mature Broca

Quite mature Broca

At the ICAFE research labs they are breeding Broca under controlled conditions to better understand them and ultimately their prevention in parts of Costa Rica that may be affected. We had a look at the insides of a bean where they broca are only 18 days old through a microscope and I rather hopefully stuck my camera to the eyepiece. The video is not overly pleasant viewing but I think it is quite interesting. (Give it a chance to load)

[qt:http://www.jimseven.com/video/broca.mov 320 256]
For YouTube click here.

Parchment full of broca bored holes

Parchment full of broca bored holes

Play

9 Comments

  1. Awesome post… that video was fascinating.

    Do they bore way down into the inside of the bean, or just through the parchment and then start munching away?

  2. I saw some photos yesterday from peter g, on broca damage in Sumatra, a place where broca is not native and has no natural predators.. It’s devastating!

  3. m’llissa, I know there are wasps in Sumatra that prey on broca, but I dont know whether they are indigenous. The Salvadorenos breed the same wasps at PROCAFE and offer them to farmers as an anti-broca measure

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