Dear Scarab Experts:
The Coconut Rhinoceros Beetle (Oryctes rhinoceros) was accidentally introduced to Hawaii 13 months ago. The beetle is very destructive to a variety of palm trees, and its presence in Hawaii is a problem for the state's economy, agriculture, and tourism. Many people are working to contain and eradicate the species from Hawaii so that it will not spread within the archipelago or to other regions.
Aubrey Moore (University of Guam) and others have noted that adults of Oryctes rhinoceros are not strongly attracted to lights at night. This corroborates Gressitt (1953: 50-51):
"The adult beetles. being nocturnal in habit, are attracted to artificial lights
at mght. However, the attraction Îs apparently not very strong. Most records
obtained of beetles entering houses have been between 8:00 and 8 :45 p.m.
(See table 5). J. S. Armstrong informs me that in Apia he observed them attracted up to 9 :00 p.m. Some have stated that the beet!es are not, or only
rarely, attracted to light. Pastor Fey told me that while he lived in tents just
after his return to Koror from BabeIthuap in the fall of 1945, two or three
adults were attracted every night. This is apparently an index of a very dense
population in view of the accumulated records. One adult was observed flying
about a lime tree and a breadfruit tree at 5 :00 o'clock on a dull rainy afternoon
(October 9) in NgiwaI. Flight in cages was noticed at 5:20 p.m. A fema!e
has been seen to move its head rapidly up and down just before taking to flight."
We are interested in information on the Oryctes rhinoceros flight behavior (or other species of Oryctes):
1) Do you have experience collecting Oryctes in high numbers at lights?
2) If Oryctes is strongly attracted to light, what types of lights are they attracted to?
3) What time at night is Oryctes most attracted to lights?
4) Is flight related to season, moon, rains, or temperature?
Many thanks for your observations and assistance! With your help, we hope to prevent the spread of this species to other regions.
mary liz jameson
Mary Liz Jameson, PhD
Department of Biological Sciences
Wichita State University
537 Hubbard Hall
Wichita, KS 67260-0026 USA
Skype user name: MaryLizJameson