Oryctes rhinoceros (L.) - Hawaii Island Palm Society
Coconut Rhinoceros Beetle (CRB)
Oryctes rhinoceros (L.)
Cheryl L. Young and Derek K. Arakaki Hawaii Department of Agriculture
Coconut rhinoceros beetles are serious pests of coconut and
other palm trees. Damage is done by adults boring through
the trees, usually through the crowns, to feed on sap. This
damages fronds and may kill the tree if the beetle bores
through the growing tip. The boring may also introduce
infection(s) which may kill the tree.
Eggs are off-white and 3-4 mm in diameter. Eggs
are laid in decaying logs or other decomposing
vegetation (such as mulch piles).
Adults boring into the tree crown often cause distinctive Vshaped notches in the fronds. However, similar damage
can be caused by careless pruning.
The three larval instars develop in and feed on the
decaying plant matter. The third instar may be up to
3.5 inches long. Larvae do not damage live plants.
Pupae are formed in the decaying plant matter, or in
the soil beneath where larvae are feeding.
Bore holes may be round or elongated, and may not always
be visible, even if a tree has been attacked.
Adult beetles are up to 2.5 inches long and live 4-9
months. The life cycle (egg to adult) takes ~ 4
months. In her lifetime, a female may lay 50-100
Adults can sometimes be found in crowns of trees, or
in the larval habitats. They are believed to be most
active at night. The best method for detection of
adults is trapping with lures.