Coconut Rhinoceros Beetle
In 2015, the Invasive Species Insects Subgroup focused on coconut rhinoceros beetle, an invasive insect spreading across the Pacific. In March of that year, a work group gathered after the Hawaiian Entomological Society meeting to share the latest information and research on the beetle.
Specifically, researchers shared information about a novel biotype of the coconut rhinoceros beetle that is resistant to existing biocontrol measures.
Discovered in 2007 and known as the Guam biotype, the beetle isn't susceptible to oryctes nudivirus, a virus used as the primary biocontrol measure for the Pacific biotype of the beetle. Damage has been particularly heavy on Guam, where Typhoon Dolphin caused heavy damage in May and created large numbers of breeding sites in the downed palms. Guam-biotype beetles have been confirmed on Papua New Guinea, Hawaii, Palau and the Solomon Islands.
Links to recent publications and presentations about the beetle
- White Paper:A New Coconut Rhinoceros Beetle Biotype Threatens Coconut and Oil Palms in Southeast Asia and the Pacific
- Pest Alert from the Secretariat of the Pacific Community (Fiji)
- Newsletter of the International Association of Plant Protection Sciences
- Presentation:The Coconut Rhinoceros Beetle: A New Threat to Hawai?i’s Palm Trees
- Presentation: Update of the Guam Coconut Rhinoceros Beetle Eradication Project
- Presentation: Emergency Response Plan on Coconut Rhinoceros Beetle Pohnpei
- Hawaii Invasive Species Council website