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Oryctes rhinoceros, commonly known as the rhinoceros beetle is an important agricultural pest that is known to inflict serious damage on young oil palm trees. Many researches have been conducted on its development, life cycle, habitat, management and genomic variation ever since the need to understand this pest arose. Oryctes rhinoceros is among the longest present agricultural pest in Malaysia and it has witnessed the formulation and implementation of various phases of control and management strategies. To date, research and development activities are still ongoing in Malaysia for the successful management of this pest. In this review, we look into details on the characteristics of this pest, the modes of its introduction into Malaysia, as well as the events that helped to establish and contribute to the proliferation of this pest as a major oil palm threat in Malaysia. The progressive development of various research and development activities concerning the management and control of this pest are also highlighted.
*Corresponding author: Email:;
Annual Research & Review in Biology
4(22): …………, 2014
SCIENCEDOMAIN international
Oryctes rhinoceros Beetles, an Oil Palm Pest in
G. Manjeri
, R. Muhamad
and Soon Guan Tan
Department of Plant Protection, Faculty of Agriculture, Universiti Putra Malaysia,
43400 UPM Serdang, Selangor, Malaysia.
Department of Cell and Molecular Biology, Faculty of Biotechnology and Biomolecular
Sciences, Universiti Putra Malaysia, 43400 UPM Serdang, Selangor, Malaysia.
Authors’ contributions
This work was carried out in collaboration between all authors. Author GM performed the
literature searches, reviewed all relevant materials and wrote the manuscript. The final
manuscript was read and approved by Authors GM, RM and SGT.
Received 22
April 2014
Accepted 15
May 2014
Published 16
June 2014
Oryctes rhinoceros, commonly known as the rhinoceros beetle is an important agricultural
pest that is known to inflict serious damage on young oil palm trees. Many researches
have been conducted on its development, life cycle, habitat, management and genomic
variation ever since the need to understand this pest arose. Oryctes rhinoceros is among
the longest present agricultural pest in Malaysia and it has witnessed the formulation and
implementation of various phases of control and management strategies. To date,
research and development activities are still ongoing in Malaysia for the successful
management of this pest. In this review, we look into details on the characteristics of this
pest, the modes of its introduction into Malaysia, as well as the events that helped to
establish and contribute to the proliferation of this pest as a major oil palm threat in
Malaysia. The progressive development of various research and development activities
concerning the management and control of this pest are also highlighted.
Keywords: Oryctes rhinoceros; rhinoceros beetle; oil palm pest; Malaysia
Mini-Review Article
Annual Research & Review in Biology, 4(22): ………….., 2014
The oil palm, Elais guineensis Jacq. is a native West African plant [1]. It was first introduced
into Southeast Asia in 1848 when it was planted in the Bogor Botanic Gardens, Java, as an
ornamental plant. Subsequently, it was commercially developed as a plantation crop in
Sumatera. In Malaysia, this plant was first introduced by Sir M. H. Fauconnier during 1911
and 1912. This later led to the establishment of Tennamaram Estate, the first Malaysian
commercial oil palm estate in 1917 [2]. Since its early introduction into Malaysia in 1911, oil
palm plants have rapidly developed to become the number one commercial crop of the
country resulting in Malaysia being the second highest producer of palm oil in the world after
Indonesia [3]. However, various hurdles and trials were faced by planters and researchers
throughout the process. Amidst the various problems that arose, attacks by Oryctes
rhinoceros beetles had been an unremitting dilemma faced by Malaysian planters. Often,
beetle attack results in loss of productivity, irreversible damage to plants and plant death.
Attacked oil palm plants are also predisposed to further lethal secondary infestation by the
red palm weevils (Rhynchophorus spp.). In Malaysia, O. rhinoceros has established its self
as a major Coleopteran pest of the oil palm industry and this had been made possible by a
series of events that began with the development of this pest in Malaysia through the
coconut industry up to its establishment as an oil palm pest due to several plantation
practices that caused unanticipated population increase. To date, the severity and impact of
the damage by O. rhinoceros is often observed and recorded in plantations throughout the
country to aid monitoring and control practices. Various control measures and integrated
pest management strategies have been applied in field and constant research and
developments are undertaken to improvise control measures as well as to improve the
understanding on the O. rhinoceros its self.
Oryctes rhinoceros being an important agricultural pest has been widely studied in various
aspects over a very long period of time. Incomplete taxonomic studies on this beetle began
very early and constant revisions were made in the classification of this beetle. This species
was originally described as Scarabaeus rhinoceros by Linnaeus. In further taxonomic work
published in 1840, this beetle was called Oryctes stentor Castelnau. Finally, with the
establishment of the zoological nomenclature system, this species was renamed as Oryctes
rhinoceros [4]. Oryctes rhinoceros is a member of the superfamily Scarabaeoidea which has
been on the face of the earth for as long as 200 million years [5]. Out of the 42 species in
this genus [4] only O. rhinoceros is present as an oil palm pest in the Asian region [6].
Locally in Malaysia, this beetle is known as the ‘kumbang badak’, whereby ‘kumbang’ means
beetle and ‘badak’ means rhinoceros.
Several works had been done on the life cycle of this pest which comprises four stages
namely egg, larva, pupa and imago with the duration of each stage being variable,
depending on climatic conditions, nutrition and humidity of the different localities in which the
developmental process occurred [4,7-9]. Generally the whole life cycle lasts for around four
to nine months allowing for more than one generation per year [10]. Throughout this period
the female lays 70 to 100 eggs [8]. Adult beetles have been observed to mate right after their
first feeding once they have left their pupal site [11]. These observations further conclude
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and support the fact that O. rhinoceros are robust, long-lived and highly productive and this
contributes towards the large and frequent events of beetle attack [12].
There is a clear difference in the choice of habitats between the immature and the adult O.
rhinoceros beetles. A dead standing coconut palm which has been previously affected by
disease, pest or lightning provides a suitable breeding environment for the immature beetles
[13]. Materials like compost, sawdust heaps, rotting logs, decaying vegetable, bridges made
of coconut trunk, dead pandanus, old latrines, sugar cane bagasse, rice straws and also
humus rich soil also serve as suitable habitats for immature beetles [4,6,8,14-15].
Meanwhile, the adults spend most of their life time on fresh plants but they also return to
decomposing sites for mating and breeding [11-12]. Studies were also conducted by several
researchers to understand the role of abiotic factors in the beetles’ habitat selection. It was
successfully revealed that ground cover of more than 70 cm, decomposing tree trunk with
77% moisture content, soil pH lower than 4.2 and a high rainfall are important features in the
beetles’ habitat which increase their population density [16].
Oryctes rhinoceros began to establish themselves in Malaysia with the emergence of
coconut cultivation. Beetles were previously introduced into Malaysia from other countries
via various activities such as shipping and cargo transportation of timber, nursery trade and
transportation of habitat material. As the beetles have a range of hosts, they soon adapted
well to survive on coconut trees which were abundant along the Malaysian coastline. This
slowly led to the establishment of the O. rhinoceros populations along the east and west
coast of Malaysia. Later on in the 1970s, oil palm estates were developed on ex-rubber land.
Old rubber trees were uprooted and left to rot in the newly developed oil palm planting sites
as estate owners and small holders could not afford complete clearing due to the high cost
of planting the palms. In addition, during that time land owners disregarded the importance
of field sanitation and the consequences of improper field management. In this case, a
combination of readily available suitable breeding ground in the form of rotting rubber tree
stumps as well as abundant food resources provided by the young oil palm trees led to a
drastic increase in the beetle population in Malaysia [17].
In addition, enforcement of the Zero Burning Concept [Environment Quality Clean Air:
Amendment Regulation, 2000] in Malaysia further aggravated the situation. Previous
replanting techniques adopted felling, shredding, partial burning and complete burning as
common practices at replanting sites [18]. These methods minimized the availability of
suitable breeding sites for O. rhinoceros. However, under the new Zero Burning Concepts,
open burning was not permitted due to environmental pollution issues and this led to
increasing numbers of rotting materials [19]. In addition, an under planting technique was
also introduced to overcome burning problems. In this technique, new palms were planted
under old palms which were gradually poisoned [9]. It was found that the techniques
introduced by the Zero Burning Concepts facilitated the increase in the beetle population as
windrowed and poisoned plant biomass took two years to decompose [20]. In addition,
practices of piling old palm around nurseries, leaving dead palms standing upright and
usage of empty fruit bunches as fertilizers for young palms are common practices in
Malaysia and these contributed greatly to the increase in the beetle population in the country
[21-22]. Above all, an ideal climate as well as suitable geographic landscapes of an altitude
less than 900 m and suitable ecological surroundings in addition to food availability and
plentiful breeding ground further facilitated the rapid spread of this pest [4].
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In Malaysia, articles on the attack of this pest on local plantation in the west and east coasts
of Peninsular Malaysia appeared a few years after the introduction of this crop into our
country [23]. Beetle attacks were more serious in the west coast of Peninsular Malaysia due
to the earlier usage of the land for coconut cultivation [24,17]. Immature and young mature
palms are the major targets of this pest. This was proven during an 18 months of
observation in a two-year-old oil palm replanting site in northern Perak that revealed the
presence of 200 adult beetles per acre [25]. It was observed that the beetles were present
in most estates within one to six months after replanting. This observation further confirmed
that replanting sites played an important role as a breeding ground for the beetles in
Malaysia [25].
The feeding activity of the beetles causes major crop loss in many coconut and oil palm
plantations. As the beetles are nocturnal and feeding as well as mating activities are carried
out at night, many events of initial attacks go unnoticed. Often, the beetle bores into the base
of the cluster of unopened fronds (spears) of the young oil palms, damaging several of the
still-furled fronds [9]. This boring activity produces holes on the petioles and ‘V’ shaped cuts
on leaves as they unfold. The beetle’s mandibles are used to chisel the inner part of the
palm while the horn, clypeus and tibiae are used to bore holes. Beetles did not ingest the
solid plant material but sucked the juices [4]. Damage to the inflorescence due to the beetle
attack often leads to a reduction in the photosynthesizing area resulting in decreased or
delayed fruit production [4,18,26]. Continuous attacks on young oil palms may often be
Due to the gregarious nature of this beetle, usually more than one beetle attacks a single
palm and this often results in serious damage and often plant death. Such incidences have a
negative impact on the oil palm production and the industry. Serious damage to plantations
due to O. rhinoceros attacks have been well documented in Malaysia. Damage by O.
rhinoceros could cause an average crop loss of 40% to 92% during the first year of
harvesting [22]. In addition, more than 15% reduction in canopy size had also been observed
due to beetle attack [27]. Reduction in canopy size often results in reduced photosynthetic
activity, delayed plant maturity, reduced fruit bunch size and an approximately 25% crop loss
With the increasing number of beetles, the damage faced by the oil palm industry was
significant. This brought upon the interest to control and manage this incessant pest. A
successful pest management technique generally incorporates the applications of several
control techniques together with a fair understanding and appreciation of the surrounding
ecological factors [28]. Records highlighting devastating damages to palm crops by the O.
rhinoceros have raised concern on the importance of the establishment of suitable
eradication methods. Biological control agents, chemical controls, mass trapping and cultural
controls are commonly practiced in managing the beetle population with each procedure
having a different success rate [28].
The first step that is highly recommended among the control and management techniques of
this pest is the proper management of field sanitation as it helps to the control beetle
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population thus avoiding sudden population outbursts. A hygienic plantation ground can be
achieved by clearing standing logs, stumps and rubbish piles that may serve as breeding
grounds [4,6]. Apart from that, three commonly used pulverizing techniques in Malaysia
namely the Enviro Mulcher Method, The Mountain Goat Method and The Beaver Method are
often applied [20]. All three pulverization techniques proved to be useful as the
decomposition period of the felled palm could be reduced, thus restricting the availability of
the breeding grounds for the beetles. Planting of a cover crop is also important as it acts as
a physical barrier to the breeding sites. Beetles were not present when cover crops
measured more than 70 cm in height. Centrosema pubescens and Pueraria javanica are
among the commonly grown cover crops in Malaysia [16].
When considering chemical control procedures, direct application of insecticides is not an
appropriate technique in the management of this beetle due to its insufficiently exposed
situation. Nevertheless, a variety of chemical treatments have been considered for managing
O. rhinoceros. According to [29] lambdacyhalothrin, cypermethrin, fenvelarate,
monocrotophos and chlorpyrifos were effective at both the nursery stage and in field trials.
Lambdacyhalothrin effectively reduced the number of broken spear dieback while carbofuran
and cypermethrin were effective in reducing the number of holes on the spears and fronds
[9,29,30]. Gamma benzene hexachloride, aldrin and carbaryl were used to control the larval
stage. Naphthalene balls had also been considered once as a prophylactic method [4,17].
Although various chemical control methods have been tried on the population of O.
rhinoceros, this choice of treatments are still not effective and it imposes health and
environmental hazards.
The usage of biological control agents to control this beetle is another option that has been
looked into for a long time. The release of natural predators into the fields was recorded in
the early 1950s to 1970s. Among the list of natural predators that were tried were Scolia
patricialis (Hymenoptera), Scolia procer (Hymenoptera) and Catascopus fascialis
(Coleoptera). Unfortunately, this has proven to be a futile method as these natural pests
failed to establish themselves and produce satisfactory results [8,31].
Later on, the use of Oryctes virus as a biological control agent in the 1960s was a milestone
in the classical biological control procedure. Baculovirus oryctes was originally discovered in
Malaysia and identified as Rhabdionvirus oryctes [32]. Since then, it has been introduced
into many countries. The presences of three Oryctes viral types were revealed in Malaysia
[33]. Virus type A, was common throughout the peninsula but showed less efficacy than the
restricted virus type B. Meanwhile, type C was only found in Sabah and appeared to have
little effect on either larvae or adult beetles. This study also revealed that the Oryctes virus is
widespread in Malaysia and is transmitted readily in the adult beetle populations. However,
the incidence of the virus in the larvae, pupae, and neonate adults was low [34] which could
lead to the emergence healthy adults. Therefore, controlling the beetles using the virus
needs to be based on localized release of high virulence virus strains and integration with
other control procedures.
The entomopathogenic fungus, Metarhizium anisopliae is another common biological control
agent that has been used to control the O. rhinoceros beetles [35]. Known as the green
Muscardine fungus, it generally attacks larvae. Further development of M. anisopliae as a
potential biopesticide in Malaysia has also been studied [33,35-36]. M. anisopliae variety
major [37] is the most virulent isolate which has the potential to kill 100% of the third instar
larvae of O. rhinoceros between 12 to 14 days after treatment [35]. M. anisopliae can remain
lethal for a long period of time. However, the limited mobility of the fungus between the
Annual Research & Review in Biology, 4(22): ………….., 2014
breeding sites is a drawback. Field applications using both fresh spore solution and
broadcasting of the solid substrate with spores onto the breeding sites were observed to
significantly reduce the beetle population, especially the larvae [35]. To date, various
attempts to release the fungus into the plantations have been carried out [35-36,38].
Continuous investigations are being pursued to further improvise the usage of this
biopesticide. In addition, various application strategies, formulation and modes of introducing
the fungus into the plantations are consistently being studied [35,38-39,40-42].
Apart from that, several trapping techniques have been considered by planters in order to
manage this pest. In the earlier days, self-constructed trapping pits in the form of coconut
logs or compost pits that are similar to the natural breeding sites were used. Some work on
light trapping methods had also been tried [6]. However the light traps were found to be an
inefficient control method. The beetles were attracted to the light but the results were merely
beneficial for monitoring purposes. Recent advances have modified the concept of mass
trapping by incorporating the usage of the species specific semiochemical called
aggregation pheromone. Currently, mass trapping using an aggregation pheromone with the
active component ethyl 4-methyloctonoate is the commonly used technique by many
Malaysian plantation owners to trap and monitor the beetles in young oil palm replanting
sites [43-44]. This technique gained popularity among plantation managers due to its
efficiency and economical value [9]. The pheromone traps are also integrated with biological
control agents like M. anisopliae and also B. oryctes [30] to improve the management and
control procedures.
Ethyl 4-methyloctanoate was first found in Indonesia to be the major aggregation pheromone
component produced by the beetle males [43]. Male-produced attractants have been
referred to as aggregation pheromones, because they result in the arrival of both sexes at a
calling site leading to an increase in the density of beetles at the pheromone source.
Aggregation pheromones are useful for mate selection, defense against predators and for
overcoming host resistance through mass attack [45]. In O. rhinoceros beetles, the
aggregation pheromone helps the insect to find mates, breeding sites and food [46-47]. To
further improve the efficiency of mass trapping using pheromone traps, the influence of
these traps on the immigration activity of the beetles into the replanting sites was studied
[47]. Apart from that, it was also found that the occurrence of the aggregation pheromone
was irregular in different beetle samples suggesting a possible influence of specific
conditions that controlled the production of this pheromone by the male beetles [48].
Selective attraction level to the pheromone traps had also been claimed to be observed
among the beetle populations (Chung, Ebor Research, Sime Darby Plantations, pers. comm.
2002) suggesting the possible occurrence of a cryptic species complex. This hypothesis
stimulated interest to study on the pest’s genome.
With interest to understand the O. rhinoceros beetles and to improve management and
control techniques, much research work was conducted on this pest’s development and life
cycle [4], habitat [16] and management [29,35]. However, little work has been carried out on
the population genetic structure of this pest species until recently. This scope of research
gained interest with the claim of selective attraction levels among the beetles to the
pheromone trap and the possible presence of a cryptic species complex. This hypothesis led
to the detailed analysis of the population genetic variation and genetic structure of O.
rhinoceros from several locations in Malaysia.
It is acknowledged that speciation events are crucial in pest management as accurate
detection and monitoring of the individuals are extremely important. The detection of a
Annual Research & Review in Biology, 4(22): ………….., 2014
cryptic complex is difficult as it often occurs in small population sizes [48]. However, the
failure to identify the presence of reproductively isolated pest species could result in serious
errors in pest management control strategies [49]. Therefore, several studies [50-51] were
carried out to study the molecular genetic variation of this pest from several locations in
Malaysia. By studying the genetic structure of this beetle the researchers intended to identify
any isolated gene pool that could relate to the presence of a cryptic species complex that
could have resulted from prezygotic isolation behavior such as variations in communication
signals like pheromones which often contribute to reproductive isolation between sympatric
species [52].
Based on the use of randomly amplified polymorphic DNA (RAPD) markers [50] and
randomly amplified microsatellite markers (RAMs) [53], the possible presence of two
separate gene pools in O. rhinoceros had been reported. However, when a morphometric
analysis of O. rhinoceros was performed [54] it revealed that the beetles are morphologically
indistinguishable; consequently strengthening the need for further molecular analysis of the
insect. Hence, to obtain more concrete results, species specific codominant single locus
DNA microsatellite marker were for O. rhinoceros [55]. As such microsatellite markers are
powerful and promising genetic markers that allow analysis of fine-scale ecological
questions concerning population genetics and species-level population structures [56], it was
hoped that this set of markers would provide definitive answers on the species status of this
pest. However, the subsequent analysis on the genetic structure of this insect pest species
using the newly developed codominant microsatellite markers indicated no isolated gene
pools. The Peninsular Malaysian O. rhinoceros population was close to panmixia as only low
to moderate differentiation occurred between geographical populations from different
locations such as Selangor, Perak, and Pahang in the peninsula and a high gene flow
occurred among them. Overall, beetles of the different population interacted freely, thus
permitting gene flow between closely and distantly located populations. Based on this study,
the possibility of a cryptic complex occurring in O. rhinoceros was ruled out [51]. This study
showed that the selective attraction exhibited by the beetles toward the pheromone trapping
system was not due to prezygotic isolation behavior that is commonly exhibited by cryptic
species of a sympatric nature but to other yet unknown environmental or behavioral factors.
As the non-existence of a cryptic species complex has been confirmed, the current pest
management strategies can be carried out without worrying about the influence of possible
genetic variations in the beetles towards the success of the control techniques. However,
there always exist possibilities of changes in the genetic structure of a pest like O.
rhinoceros which is widely exposed to insecticides. If such a situation arises, future genetic
studies on the beetle populations from any other regions could be conducted with ease by
using the codominant microsatellite markers developed [55].
Malaysia shares a very close and undeniable relationship with the Oryctes rhinoceros beetle.
Although this beetle has been a pest that is much feared by oil palm planter, incidence of
beetle attack has in fact contributed towards the various development and improvement in
the scope of science and pest management. In our battle to control this beetles, the
researcher of the country has contributed toward great understanding of this beetle which
will be beneficial worldwide and in fact contribute towards future ideas and theories in the
management of other similar pests.
Annual Research & Review in Biology, 4(22): ………….., 2014
Authors have declared that no competing interests exist.
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... In oil palm, Oryctes rhinoceros (Rhinoceros beetle) is considered to be the one of the major pests for oil palm plantations, especially in Southeast Asia. O. rhinoceros affects seedlings, young and old palms and greatly discourages the replantation (Manjeri et al., 2014). Due to the gregarious nature of this beetle, a single oil palm tree can be affected by more than one beetle at a time and this often leads to a serious damage or to the death of the palms. ...
... Damage to the inflorescence through the beetle attachment significantly reduces the photosynthesis and thereby the yield was also reduced. Prolonged attack of these pest usually lead to the death of the oil palm trees (Manjeri et al., 2014). ...
The replantation of oil palm in plantations occurs once in every 25 years. Felled oil palm trunk (OPT) is among the most abundant biomass left to decompose naturally in the oil palm plantations. Conversion of this waste biomass can contribute to the booming of secondary industries, which in turn opens up new job opportunities for the local communities. At present, however, OPT is predominantly left in oil palm plantations for soil enrichment purposes. This review aims to discuss the management of OPT waste to ensure the sustainability of oil palm plantations. The OPT has a unique chemical composition with high amounts of carbohydrates and moisture that enhances microbial degradation to release micro and macro nutrients into the soil. Pulverizing and windrowing partially decomposed OPT can help to increase the degradation of OPT. Apart from providing nutrients to the newly planted oil palm seedlings, felled OPT also serves as a breeding ground for pests due to the high carbon to nitrogen ratio which reduces the OPT decomposition rate. As a consequence, disease incidences and severity have been increasing drastically in consecutive replantation. Meanwhile, the removal of felled OPT from the plantation could cause nutrient depletion in the soil and increase fertilizer cost. Therefore, considerable attention from the scientific communities as well the authorities should be given to the management of felled OPT to ensure the sustainable production of oil palm.
... O. rhinoceros and Rhynchophorus ferrugineus (Olivier) (Coleoptera: Curculionidae) are typically found together in oil palms and can diminish yield by up to 80%. Secondary infestation of R. ferrugineus is more injurious than the direct damage caused by O. rhinoceros (Manjeri et al. 2014). Soil with high organic matter, decaying plant debris, dead palms, and wooden edifices are preferred breeding habitats (Manjeri et al. 2014). ...
... Secondary infestation of R. ferrugineus is more injurious than the direct damage caused by O. rhinoceros (Manjeri et al. 2014). Soil with high organic matter, decaying plant debris, dead palms, and wooden edifices are preferred breeding habitats (Manjeri et al. 2014). Adult average lifespan is around 4.7 months, and female fecundity is around 108 eggs (Nirula et al. 1955). ...
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Background India is the world's leading producer of coconuts. Many biotic and abiotic constrains limit global palm yield and among the biotic factors, the coconut rhinoceros beetle, Oryctes rhinoceros (L.) (Coleoptera: Scarabaeidae) is the major problem in India. The adult beetle attacks the unopened leaves and inflorescences, resulting in a yield loss of more than 10%. O. rhinoceros grubs and adults have different feeding habits as the adults feed on plant tissues, whereas the grubs primarily feed on rotting organic matter. Non-feeding stage, i.e. the larval stage, which is cryptic in nature and spends nearly 90–160 days in the breeding site, is amenable to any control measures so as to reduce the population of actual damaging adult stage. However, indiscriminate use of chemical insecticides has created a lot of environmental and regulatory issues, thus warranting an ecologically safe and environmental friendly alternative option. Hence, indigenous entomopathogenic nematode (EPN) strains, viz. Heterorhabditis indica (CPCRI-Hi1), Steinernema abbasi (CPCRI-Sa1), and S. carpocapsae (CPCRI-Sc1), virulence and reproductive capacity were evaluated against second instar larvae of O. rhinoceros . Results Oryctes rhinoceros larval susceptibility to EPN significantly varied with the treatment dose and period of exposure. The highest larval mortality was observed with S. carpocapsae (100%), and S. abbasi (92%) at 10 days post treatment, whereas H. indica strain induced 72% mortality. At 72 h of incubation, the LC 50 values of Sc1, Sa1 and Hi1 strains were 1078, 1663 and 9780 IJs larva ⁻¹ , respectively. With different concentration of EPN tested, the production of infective juveniles (IJs) inside the cadavers for Sc1, Sa1 and Hi1 varied between 3223–10,365; 4722–96,572 and 3483–85,453 larvae ⁻¹ , respectively. Conclusion Based on the virulence, reproductive capacity, searching ability and LC 50 values, it is suggested that strain Sc1 have great potential as a biocontrol agent for the Oryctes management in coconut palms under humid tropical ecosystem. Present study found the effective native strain against O. rhinoceros , and its field efficacy should be tested further to include the EPNs in the integrated pest management program in coconut.
... Indirect damage such as leaf midrib which will reduce the process of photosynthesis resulting in a decrease in production. The direct damage caused is the death of oil palm plants [4]. ...
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The decline in oil palm production can be caused by pest attacks. The main pest that attacks oil palm is the horn beetle. Control is usually done by using chemical pesticides. The use of chemical pesticides can cause resistance, resurgence, destruction of natural enemies, and environmental pollution. The use of chemical insecticides can be minimized by using environmentally friendly and sustainable control alternatives, namely by using the local entomopathogenic fungus B. bassiana. This study aimed to obtain the best dose of local B. bassiana Vuill in controlling O. rhinoceros larvae in immature oil palm plantations in Sei Siasam, Rokan Hulu Regency, Riau Province. The study was carried out in Sei Siasam, Rokan Hulu Regency and the Plant Pest Laboratory, Faculty of Agriculture, University of Riau. Completely Randomized Design with five treatments doses of local entomopathogenic fungus B. bassiana 30 g/hole, 35 g/hole, 40 g/hole, 45 g/hole, 50 g/hole and four replications, in order to get 20 experimental units. The results showed that the application of local Riau B. bassiana at a dose of 40 g/hole was the best dose capable of causing death of 72.5%. Early death 77 hours after application and Lethal time 50 180.75 hours after application.
... Most probably, the hidden life of the beetles also adds to the ineffectiveness of the IPM treatments. Currently, CRB management in palms does either not exist especially on small holding farms, or it greatly relies on insecticide application in larger areas and application of certain bio-control agents (Manjeri et al. 2014). Nevertheless, the adverse effects of pesticides on human health, unavailability of skilled manpower for timely management practices and non-feasibility of adopting these strategies in homestead gardens and small and marginal farmers warrant an alternative strategy for easy adoption and to manage this pest. ...
Oryctes rhinoceros (L.) is a major pest of palms worldwide. Seedlings and juvenile palms are more vulnerable to beetle damage and in severe cases, inflicting palm death. The present study was to develop a physical pest control technique for juvenile palms using nylon nets as a pest exclusion barrier. The unopened spear leaf with –two to four adjacent leaf bases were loosely wrapped with the nylon nets of different mesh size during June - December 2017 (N = 40). Results revealed that the damaged leaves were reduced from 61.02 to 7.53% (t = 17.23; p < 0.001). Further experiment was up scaled in 120 palms during June – December 2018 and the beetles trapped in nylon nets were recorded at weekly intervals. Nylon nets entrapped 618 adult beetles that comprised 61.80% females and 38.18% males with corresponding sex ratio of 1.61: 1. Thus, use of nylon nets as a pest exclusion barrier guarded the young palms from beetle attack and additionally acted as passive trap by entrapping 20.6 beetles/week/120 palms without any insecticidal intervention.
... The reported insect pests included termites (Isoptera Rhinotermitidae), rhinoceros beetle (Coleoptera: Scarabaeidae), and bugworms (Lepidoptera: Psychidae) (Kamarudin et al. 2019). The rhinoceros beetle (Oryctes rhinoceros) is one of the most devastating pest diseases to oil palm in Malaysia (Manjeri 2014). ...
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The interaction and the interplay of climate change with oil palm production in the Southeast Asia region are of serious concern. This particularly applies in Malaysia due to its rank as the second largest palm oil producer in the world. The anthropogenic activities and the agroecological practices in oil palm plantation, including excessive use of fertilisers, bush fire due to land clearing, and cultivation on peatland, have exacerbated the effects of climate change featuring extreme events, drought, flooding, heatwave, as well as infestation of pest and diseases. These adverse impacts on oil palm production highlight the significance of deploying effective adaptation strategies. The study aims to examine the impact of climate change on oil palm production and identify the farmers’ adaptation strategies to the impacts of climate change in Malaysia. This study was conducted a comprehensive review of the articles published from 2000 to 2021 in the contexts of climate change and oil palm production in Malaysia. The review shows that climate change has a range of impacts on the oil palm production in Malaysia. As a result, several adaptation options were identified, such as breeding of hybrid varieties that are tolerant and resistant to heat; sustainable management of soil; pit and tranches to enhance water management in plantation areas; minimal use of fertilisers, herbicides, and pesticides; zero burning; and minimum tillage. The reviewed studies recommended the following to mitigate the adverse impacts of climate change: sustainable national policy on climate change, conservation of the existing carbon stock, effective management of tropical rainforest biodiversity, afforestation for carbon sequestration, and reduction in greenhouse gas (GHG) emission.
... Many diseases affect the yield in oil palms, however there are no studies that relate the presence of diseases to the number of reproductive structures. There are, however, reports of damage to inflorescences and bunches that are generated by pests (Manjeri et al. 2014). In the context of plant epidemiology and related areas, it is common to model the damage of a disease on plant tissues or organs by means of diagrammatic scales developed from the area of tissue damage, and these values are usually used to estimate the severity of the disease (Pinzón et al. 2017). ...
A new physiopathy in oil palms that has been called "duster" for which at present no causal agent is known, is gaining interest in agronomic research. In 2015 we carried out a count of reproductive structures to evaluate the severity in genetic materials of three different origins in a plantation in Colombia. The aim was to determine the possible relationships between disorder and the presence of reproductive structures . For the data analysis a cluster analysis was performed and then we assessed the relative risk between the state of the disorder, the origin and structures of the plant and we applied a log-linear model to study the dependence between variables classified in clusters: palms showing high fruiting and grouped with low fruiting. We observed that fruiting was not statistically related to the presence of physiopathy. We also observed that Brabanta origin were the least susceptible and showed the best fruiting.
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The African coconut beetle Oryctes monoceros and Asiatic rhinoceros beetle O. rhinoceros have been associated with economic losses to plantations worldwide. Despite the amount of effort put in determining the potential geographic extent of these pests, their environmental suitability maps have not yet been well established. Using MaxEnt model, the potential distribution of the pests has been defined on a global scale. The results show that large areas of the globe, important for production of palms, are suitable for and potentially susceptible to these pests. The main determinants for O. monoceros distribution were; temperature annual range, followed by land cover, and precipitation seasonality. The major determinants for O. rhinoceros were; temperature annual range, followed by precipitation of wettest month, and elevation. The area under the curve values of 0.976 and 0.975, and True skill statistic values of 0.90 and 0.88, were obtained for O. monoceros and O. rhinoceros, respectively. The global simulated areas for O. rhinoceros (1279.00 × 10 4 km 2) were more than that of O. monoceros (610.72 × 10 4 km 2). Our findings inform decision-making and the development of quarantine measures against the two most important pests of palms.
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Climate change is expected to have a significant influence on species range expansion, habitat shifts, and risk of biological invasion due to changes in survival rates, and rapid reproduction. This will tend to affect their geographical distribution and dispersal patterns, thereby threatening agriculture production and food security. Therefore, it is essential to understand the impact of climate change on the range shifts of an invasive species like the Asiatic rhinoceros beetle, Oryctes rhinoceros Linnaeus (Coleoptera: Dynastinae: Scarabaeidae), to inform policy formulation and preventive measures. To achieve this, we used environmental variables and occurrence records of O. rhinoceros to predict the current and future potential distribution of the pest under two representative concentration pathways (RCPs 4.5 and 8.5) for three time periods (2030, 2050, and 2080). We employed Boosted Regression Tree (BRT) and ArcGIS to create risk maps for the pest. The BRT model predicts an expansion of O. rhinoceros outside the current known distribution. The environmental variables which contributed the most to the geographical distribution of the pest were minimum temperature of coldest month (26.81%), followed by precipitation of wettest month (20.61%), temperature annual range (11.34%), mean diurnal range (11.33%), and elevation (4.49%). Under the different climate change scenarios, O. rhinoceros will continue to threaten the economically important host plants until 2080. As a result, there will be a need for effective strategies to prevent its spread. Our predictions are reliable and have the potential to estimate the global distribution of the pest, as well as provide suggestions for prompt of O. rhinoceros prevention and management.
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A double-stranded DNA virus, Oryctes rhinoceros nudivirus (OrNV), was detected in the total DNA of diseased larvae of O. rhinoceros in Riau Province, Indonesia. The complete genome sequence was 124,926 bp long and encodes 123 open reading frames (ORFs). This strain belongs to the family Nudiviridae and was designated LiboV.
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Granule formulations consisting of mycelia and spores of Metarhizium anisopliae var. major as the active ingredient were produced and tested against the larvae of Oryctes rhinoceros. The effect of the medium pH on the production of mycelia was investigated, and the granule compositions were optimized. The fungus produced higher yields of mycelial pellets (0.58 g) at pH=8 as compared to pH=5, 6 or 7. Granules prepared from mycelia with the growing medium (G+MM) improved fungal growth (100%) and sporulation (87.2%) as compared to granules prepared from the mycelia alone (G+M) (growth and sporulation, 62.4% and 47.6%, respectively). The amounts of ingredients, such as kaolin and rice bran used in making the granules, were then optimized. The weight of granules increased as the amount of kaolin and rice bran increased, but granule quality was reduced. The highest quality granules (with growth 98.5%, sporulation 88.6% and dry weight 1249 g) were prepared with 925 g kaolin and 400 g rice bran. The pathogenicity of the G+MM granules was tested against the third instar larvae of O. rhinoceros. The test showed that at 20 days after treatment (DAT), treatment with rates of 1.0 g and 2.0 g granules/box caused 90% mortality, which was as high as with the treatment using pure spore solutions (96%). The G+MM granules produced more spores and more quickly than granules made from spores (G+Sp). Both types of granules produced 0.42-6.60 x 106 spores/granule. Results of the bioassay indicated that application of G+MM and G+Sp at rates of 3 g, 6 g and 9 g killed 100% the third instar larvae as early as at 18 DAT. Infection level increased as the application rate increased. G+MM and G+Sp applied at 9 g/box caused the highest infection of 93.3% in the larvae. The potential use of the granule formulation to control O. rhinoceros in the field was also discussed.
An inoculation trap for the auto dissemination of spores of Metarhizium anisopliaefor the management of Oryctes rhinoceros in the field was designed and tested. The efficiency of the inoculation trap in capturing the adult rhinoceros beetles zvas found to be as good as the commercial pail type trap. The trap capture rate zvas 2.5 adults per trap per night (a/t/n), no different (at P>0.05) from the capture rate by the pail type trap (2.4 a/t/n). A performance test showed that 66.7% of the trapped adults that escaped from the inoculation trap were subsequently confirmed dead due to infection by the fungus. Laboratory tests also found that the infected adults had disseminated the spores to the breeding site, killing 91.7% of the larvae byfungal infection. The mortalities of the released inoculated adults zvere betzveen 63°c and 69%, due to infection by M. anisopliae. Afield test showed that the percentage of trapped adults leaving the trap was between 85% and 95°c. Both rates of spore solution (at 2 and 4 g litre 1) caused high mortality to adults within the period of 15-30 days after trapping (DAT), and complete mortality zvas recorded at 45 DAT. Some 75°c to 90% of the dead adults were confirmed to be infected by M. anisopliae. The density of viable spores collected from the soil in the trapping region showed an increase, suggesting that the M. anisopliae had been established in the breeding sites of the beetle.
Morphometric analysis was performed on the oil palm pest Oryctes rhinoceros (L.) as part of a study to determine the possibility of a cryptic species complex occurring in this organism. Six beetle populations, each with a sample of 30 individuals were examined. The morphometric variables measured were total body length, elytral length, pronotal length,pronotal width, and length of the cephalic horn. Principal component analysis and canonical discriminant analysis indicated no distinct discontinuity or clustering of populations. The morphology of individuals from different populations was observed to overlap on one another. These results indicate that O. rhinoceros show stability in morphometric character variance across a wide geographical range.