- Widespread distribution. South and Southeast Asia, Oceania. On coconut, but other palm species are attacked, including betel nut, sago palm and oil palm. Banana, Pandanus, sugarcane and tree fern are also hosts. An important pest.
- Adults fly at night, tunnelling into crowns, damaging the leaves, causing distinctive symptoms.
- Cultural control: destroy fallen logs or grow ground legumes to hide them, and encourage rotting: compost dead leaves and grass; turn manure and sawdust heaps and remove grubs; use wire to kill adults in crowns.
- Biopesticides: Oryctes rhinoceros nudivirus (capture and release adults); Metarhizium anisopliae (placed in breeding sites). Note, a new form of OrNV occurs in Guam, Palau, Papua New Guinea and Solomon Islands.
- Chemical control: impractical and uneconomic; a pheromone is available to monitor/control populations
Pacific Pests, Pathogens, Weeds & Pesticides
Coconut rhinoceros beetle - Oryctes (108)
Photo 1. Characteristic damage done by the coconut rhinoceros beetle, Oryctes rhinoceros, showing V or wedge-shaped sections missing from the fronds eaten by the adults as they tunnel into the crowns of mature palms. (Solomon Islands)
Photo 2. Severe damage to young fronds by adult coconut rhinoceros beetle, Orytes rhinoceros. (Palau)
Coconut rhinoceros beetle, rhinoceros beetle
Oryctes rhinoceros. Several strains are recognised. In Pacific islands
AUTHOR Grahame Jackson
Information from Waterhouse DF, Norris KR (1987) Oryctes rhinoceros (Linnaeus). Biological Control Pacific Prospects. Inkata Press, Melbourne; and Mark Schmaedick (2005). Coconut rhinoceros beetle. Pests and diseases of American Samoa, Number 8. American Samoa College Community & Natural Resources Cooperative Research & Extension. (https://www.ctahr.hawaii.edu/adap/ASCC_Landgrant/Dr_Brooks/BrochureNo8.pdf); and from USDA APHIS (undated) Coconut rhinoceros beetle. Hungry Pests. (https://www.aphis.usda.gov/aphis/resources/pests-diseases/hungry-pests/the-threat/coconut-rhinoceros-beetle/hp-crp). Photos 7-13 Mark Schmaedick, Land Grant Program, American Samoa Community College. Photos 2,4,5 Joel Miles, Bureau of Agriculture, Republic of Palau. Photo 14 Aubrey Moore University of Guam. Photos 6&15-18 Nitya Singh, Ministry of Agriculture, Fiji.
Produced with support from the Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research under project PC/2010/090: Strengthening integrated crop management research in the Pacific Islands in support of sustainable intensification of high-value crop production, implemented by the University of Queensland and the Secretariat of the Pacific Community.