Borers

Timothy D. Paine

University of California, Riverside

Insects that are borers belong to a wide range of taxonomic groups, but they all share a common life history trait: they spend all or part of their larval life feeding within the tissues of their host plant. Some borer species deposit eggs within host plant tissues, whereas other species oviposit on the external surface and the larvae bore into the plant. Although there may be some feeding activity within the phloem and cambial tissues the larvae typically excavate feeding galleries within the woody tissues of perennial plants, within the stems of annual plants, and within the stalks or stems of grasses. Adult borers are free-living outside the host plant.

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