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Plantwise Factsheets for Farmers

Rhinoceros Beetle in Coconut

Oryctes rhinoceros
India

Recognize the problem

The Rhinoceros beetle is a black-coloured horned beetle which is active at night and hides in feeding or breeding sites during the day. The beetle attacks the young leaf fronds which, when fully opened, show characteristic diamond shaped cuts. Repeated attack can destroy the top portion resulting in the death of the palm.

Background

The adult beetles from the manure pits or the nearby trees bore into the opened fronds of the young palms and cause damage. The rhinoceros beetle feeds on young growing tissue and eats the exuded sap. The grubs of the beetle are usually found in manure pits.

Management

  • Wipe out the grubs in the manure pits by pouring 250 ml green muscardine fungus (Metarhizium anisopliae) culture mixed with 750 ml of water into manure pits
  • Keep the coconut farm clean by chopping and burning the decayed and affected logs
  • Hook out the beetle from the attacked palm using the beetle hook
  • Place three naphthalene balls in the leaf axil at the top of the crown to repel the beetles
  • Set up light traps following the first rains in summer and monsoon period to attract and kill the adult beetles
  • Use pheromone traps with Rhinolure @ 12 /ha for trapping the adults, then destroy them
  • Soak castor cake @ 1 kg/ 5 litres of water in small mud pots and keep them in the coconut gardens to attract and kill the adults
  • Treat the longitudinally split tender coconut stem and green petioles of fronds with fresh toddy and keep them in the garden to attract and trap the beetles
  • Apply a mixture of Neem Seed Kernel Powder + sand (1:2) @150g/ palm at the base of the 3 inner most leaves in the crown
  • For nut bearing coconut, root feed with TNAU coconut tonic at 200ml/palm, once in six months. Apply 200 g of borax/ palm /year in two splits.

The recommendations in this factsheet are relevant to: India

Authors: Ms. Girija
MSSRF
tel: 09486144030 email: girija123@gmail.com

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