borer, name applied to various animals that are injurious because of their ability to penetrate plant or animal tissues. Among insects, some borers are beetles, e.g., the flatheaded apple-tree borer, a serious pest of many shade and fruit trees; the roundheaded apple-tree borer; and the bronze birch, locust, elm, shot-hole, and poplar borers. Other boring insects are moths that are harmful in the larval stage, e.g., the peach, currant, squash, lilac, and southern cornstalk borers and the European corn borer . Marine borers include the boring sponges, certain marine worms, and some bivalve mollusks, e.g., the rock borer, the shipworm , and the piddock, which are thought to secrete acids that dissolve rock and other substances. The hagfish , or borer, is a marine pest that burrows into the bodies of other fish.

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

See more Encyclopedia articles on: Zoology: Invertebrates