August 26, 2021

Rhinoceros beetles: The Hercules beetle

Arthropods are the largest phylum of animal kingdom having around 5 to 10 million species and comprise about 80% of all known species of animal on the earth.

Rhinoceros beetle, Oryctes rhinoceros (L.) is one of the major pests of coconut in India and other coconut producing countries causing direct and indirect losses to the crop. Beetle infestation results in reduced yield and fatal to seedlings, young or old palms in some situations.

Beetles are also a major prey of birds and other animals. Most of the beetles are regarded as pests as they are harmful to the economical plants.

This invasive pest is native to Southeast Asia. It attacks coconut palms by boring into the crowns or tops of the tree where it damages growing tissue and feeds on tree sap. The damage can significantly reduce coconut production and kill the tree.

Rhinoceros beetle eggs, larvae, pupae, and adults may be attacked by various predators, including pigs, rats, ants, and some beetles. They may also be killed by two important diseases: the fungus Metarhizium anisopliae and the Oryctes virus disease.
Rhinoceros beetles: The Hercules beetle

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