Paudel et al 2021.pdf (16.68 MB)

Can biological control overcome the threat from newly invasive coconut rhinoceros beetle populations (Coleoptera: Scarabaeidae)? A review *

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journal contribution
posted on 2023-05-03, 21:18 authored by Sulav PaudelSulav Paudel, Sarah MansfieldSarah Mansfield, Laura VillamizarLaura Villamizar, Trevor Jackson, Sean MarshallSean Marshall
The coconut rhinoceros beetle (CRB: Oryctes rhinoceros Linnaeus) is one of the most damaging pests to coconut and oil palms in Asia and the Pacific Islands. Adults bore into the crown and damage developing fronds, which affects tree development and yield. The insect is native to South and Southeast Asia and was inadvertently introduced into the Pacific in 1909. It has since spread to several Pacific island nations and territories, causing significant economic impact on these important coconut and palm-growing regions. In the 1950s and 1960s, an international biological control effort was initiated to search for and release natural enemy species. Release of the Oryctes rhinoceros nudivirus Huger (OrNV) and the species complex of Metarhizium Sorokin (Hypocreales: Clavicipitaceae) was successful in controlling CRB in its invaded range. Recently a new biotype of the beetle, known as CRB-G, has spread into the Pacific Islands causing unprecedented levels of damage due to the failure of previously successful biological control agents (BCAs) to suppress this biotype. The re-emergence of CRB as a serious pest warrants a rigorous re-evaluation of potential BCAs and a new search for effective natural enemies if necessary. In this article, we review literature on CRB to 1) analyze past introductions of BCAs and their effectiveness; 2) identify potentially important natural enemies and their geographical origins; and 3) assess possible approaches for utilization of BCAs against the new wave of CRB invasion. Research gaps and directions deserving future attention are highlighted and a strategy for renovation of biological controls for CRB suggested. * A correction has been published: Annals of the Entomological Society of America, saab015,


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© The Author(s) 2021. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of Entomological Society of America. This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial License ( licenses/by-nc/4.0/), which permits non-commercial re-use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


  • English

Does this contain Māori information or data?

  • No


Oxford University Press

Journal title

Annals of the Entomological Society of America




Paudel, S., Mansfield, S., Villamizar, L. F., Jackson, T. A., & Marshall, S. D. G. (2021). Can biological control overcome the threat from newly invasive coconut rhinoceros beetle populations (Coleoptera: Scarabaeidae)? A review. Annals of the Entomological Society of America, 114(2), 247–256. doi:10.1093/aesa/saaa057

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