Oryctes rhinoceros

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Indian rhinoceros beetle, Oryctes rhinoceros, last instar larva (left) and adult (right)
Author: Alois Huger
Oryctes rhinoceros (Linnaeus) (Indian rhinoceros beetle)
damage on coconut palm in the Maldives
Source: cropped Wikimedia Commons image

The bettle attacks the young developing fronds of coconut, oil - and other palms in tropical Asia and some Pacific islands. Damaged fronds show typical triangular cuts when they unfold (see image on left). The beetle can kill a palm (particularly newly planted coconut and oil palms), in case the growing point is destroyed during feeding. The larvae do not damage crops and breed in dead, decaying trunks. Outbreaks often develop when old palms are felled and new palms are planted. They can be prevented by growing kudzu vines over the decaying trunks, thereby hiding the potential breeding places from the beetle. The most important natural enemy is the Oryctes rhinoceros nudivirus. It has now been introduced throughout the distribution range of the beetle, but an over-abundance of breeding sites can slow down the transmission cycle of the virus.

Vernacular names
• Deutsch: Indischer Nashornkäfer
• English: Indian rhinoceros beetle
coconut rhinoceros beetle
• Español: escarabajo rinoceronte Asiático
• Français: rhinoceros du cocotier
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