Three experiments were conducted to determine the influence of number of coffee berry borer, Hypothenemus hampei (Ferrari) (Coleoptera: Curculionidae: Scolytinae), females (one, two, or five) reared in artificial diet on fecundity and subsequent development of larvae, pupae, and adults. Our results demonstrated that increasing female density from one to two or five individuals did not result in the expected two- or five-fold increase in progeny, despite ample food resources available. Instead, decreased fecundity was observed with increasing density for all experiments. The mechanism reducing fecundity was not identified, but possibly, volatiles are being produced (e.g., host-marking pheromones). The decrease in fecundity may explain why infestations of only one colonizing female per berry are the norm in the field.
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Vol. 104 • No. 1