Coconut Rhinoceros Beetle

Coconut Rhinoceros Beetle

Coconut rhinoceros beetles kill palms and other important plants. Learn to recognize the damage and report it.

The Coconut Rhinoceros Beetle (Oryctes rhinoceros) was first detected in Hawaii in December 2013. 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. The beetle is also known to feed on economically important commercial crops such as bananas, sugarcane, papayas, sisal, pineapples, and date palms.

Hawaii, Guam and American Samoa.

See Pest Tracker for details
  • Many species of palm trees, including coconut, date, and oil palms
  • Agave
  • Sugarcane
  • Banana
  • Pineapple
  • Movement of infested compost, mulch, and green waste
  • Bringing infested plants into the United States in passenger baggage
  • Beetles hitchhiking in international cargo
  • V-shaped cuts in the crown of palms
  • Large bore holes at the base of the palm fronds
  • Visibly sick or dying palm trees
  • Look for bore holes and V-shaped cuts on palm fronds.

  • Inspect mulch and compost piles for beetle larvae. Beetles lay eggs in dead, standing palms and decaying organic material, such as compost and sawdust piles, then larvae feed on rotting material until they emerge as adults.

  • Allow authorized agricultural specialists access to your property to look for the beetle and possibly hang a trap.

  • In Hawaii, call the Hawaii Department of Agriculture’s Pest Hotline if you suspect you’ve found the coconut rhinoceros beetle: (808) 643-PEST (7378).

  • In other states, report sightings of this pest at

  • Declare all agricultural items when you return from international travel.

  • Do not bring or mail fresh fruits or vegetables, or living plants unless agricultural inspectors have inspected and cleared them beforehand.


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What's at Risk from the Coconut Rhinoceros Beetle:

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