APR 15, 2018 06:46 PM PDT

A Microbe Helps Beetles Ruin Coffee

WRITTEN BY: Carmen Leitch

Learn more from this video about an interesting survival strategy employed by a tiny beetle, the coffee berry borer beetle. They're only a few millimeters long, but they can disrupt coffee supplies as they chow down on coffee plants. Native to Africa, the females have a short lifespan of up to 190 days, and the males only live up to 40 days. These males usually live out their whole life on only one coffee plant, where they bore in and mate with females, who can then lay their eggs their or in another plant.

The caffeine in the coffee plants would be toxic to other insects. But the beetles carry microbes along with them called Pseudomonas fulva. That bacterium can break the caffeine down, allowing the beetle to survive and reproduce.
About the Author
  • Experienced research scientist and technical expert with authorships on 28 peer-reviewed publications, traveler to over 60 countries, published photographer and internationally-exhibited painter, volunteer trained in disaster-response, CPR and DV counseling.
You May Also Like
NOV 12, 2018
Plants & Animals
NOV 12, 2018
Steaks Aren't the Only Things We Get From Cows
It’s no secret that cows are routinely slaughtered for beef, but what if we told you that only about 60% of the cow gets harvested for food? Fret not...
NOV 13, 2018
Chemistry & Physics
NOV 13, 2018
Viscoelasticity and Non-Newtonian Fluids
One of these is not like the others: honey, water, ketchup, and blood. The answer? Water, because the other three are all non-Newtonian fluid. When Isaac N...
DEC 02, 2018
Space & Astronomy
DEC 02, 2018
Here's Why Harvard Scientists Believe Oumuamua Could Have Been an Alien Spacecraft
  When an interstellar object came sailing through our solar system last year, it astonished astronomers because they couldn’t quite categorize...
DEC 08, 2018
Health & Medicine
DEC 08, 2018
Chronic Fatigue: Where Are We in Our Understanding?
  Ask anyone who suffers from an autoimmune disease or fibromyalgia about the most challenging aspect of their condition, and the answer will be unani...
DEC 10, 2018
Space & Astronomy
DEC 10, 2018
Learn More About How NASA Built the Parker Solar Probe
When NASA built the Solar Parker Probe to embark on its mission to study the Sun, they knew it’d need to be built with bleeding-edge technology to ma...
DEC 12, 2018
Videos
DEC 12, 2018
Why Don't We Clone Extinct or Endangered Animals?
While estimates about the number of species that go extinct vary widely, one thing is certain: we can list many animals that have gone extinct....
Loading Comments...