Sampling studies were conducted in coffee plantations in South Yunan to assess the incidence, symptoms, and intensity of damage by three stem borers: Xylotrechus quadripes (Chevrolat), Acalolepta cervina (Hope), and Bacchisa sp. near pallidiventris (Thomson). Of 5,690 plants sampled in eight plantations, 440 were infested with A. cervina, 63 with X. quadripes, and three with B. pallidiventris. Plants 5–7 yr old were 10 times more heavily infested with X. quadripes than 3- to 4-yr-old plants, whereas both age groups of plants had similar levels of infestation with A. cervina. Larval galleries of the three borer species markedly differ: A. cervina and B. pallidiventris larvae develop in subcortical galleries in the main stem (A. cervina) and lateral branches (B. pallidiventris), whereas larval galleries of X. quadripes intermittently punctuate and transverse the xylem of main stems or lateral branches. Significantly more plant tissue was damaged in stems infested with X. quadripes than in those infested with A. cervina or B. pallidiventris. Stems infested with A. cervina or B. pallidiventris generally had only one or a few pupation chambers, whereas stems infested with X. quadripes contained numerous chambers. Quantitative and qualitative data collected through this study provide farmers with diagnostic tools to determine which borer species infested coffee plants. Comparison of life history traits and intensity of damage for the three borer species indicates that X. quadripes is the most severe pest of coffee in Yunan, and suggests that populations of X. quadripes have the greatest potential to steadily increase with time.
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