The effect of three strains of the fungus Beauveria bassiana (Balsamo) Vuillemin and two strains of Metarhizium anisopliae (Metschnikoff) Sorokin upon the coffee berry borer, Hypothenemus hampei (Ferrari), was studied in three coffee farms at different altitudes (450–1,100 m above sea level) in Soconusco, Chiapas, Mexico. The maximum average percentage mycosis varied according to altitude. At 450 m asl (El Rincon) mycosis was 14.3% for B. bassiana and 6.3% for M. anisopliae; at 880 m asl (Santa Anita) mycosis was 40.6% for B. bassiana and 12.6% for M. anisopliae, and at 1,100 m asl (Alpujarras) 33.9% for B. bassiana and 22. l% for M. anisopliae. The effect of fungal mycosis through time was not significant (P > 0.01) in any of the farms, but there was a significant difference between the strains of the fungus (P < 0.01); the best strains being Bb25 and Ma4 at the lower altitude, Bb26 and Ma4 for the middle altitude and Bb26 and Ma4 at the higher altitude. Environmental factors such as temperature, relative humidity and rain were not correlated with the percentage mycosis caused by B. bassiana and M. anisopliae. However, in the case of B. bassiana there was a significant, positive correlation (P < 0.01) between the infestation levels of the pest and the mycosis response of the entomopathogen.
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Vol. 93 • No. 5