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Rhinoceros Beetle

Insect

(Oryctes rhinoceros)
Rhinoceros Beetle
Appearance

Adult : large, 15cms long, black beetle with distinctive ‘horn’ in males; females have smaller horns. Larvae : stout, sluggish and white in colour with a pale brown head, usually found in manure pits at a depth of 5-30cms.

Life Cycle

Eggs (up to 100 in a lifetime) are laid by the female in decaying organic matter, cattle dung heaps, compost pits, felled coconut logs and stumps, dead and decaying palms, coir dust, saw dust heaps, partially-burnt vegetable matter and leaf refuse. Eggs hatch into ‘C’ shaped grubs in 8-12 days and they pupate in 3-4 months, with the total life cycle completed in 3-9 months

Notes

A destructive pests of coconut, oil, arecanut and other palms. Peak emergence of adults occurs during June-August. Adults are active at night and damage the palm by tunneling into young leaves, causing a typical ‘V’-shaped notch. If they reach the growing tip, the palm may be killed. Secondary bacterial and fungal infections may also set in and access may be created for another destructive pest, the Red Palm Weevil.