Pacific Pests, Pathogens and Weeds - Online edition

Pacific Pests, Pathogens, Weeds & Pesticides

Coconut rhinoceros beetle - Oryctes (108)

Click/tap on images to enlarge
  • 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
Common Name

Coconut rhinoceros beetle, rhinoceros beetle

Scientific Name

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. (; and from USDA APHIS (undated) Coconut rhinoceros beetle. Hungry Pests. ( 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.

Copyright © 2022. All rights reserved.