Cocopest - Information portal for major pests and diseases of coconut
Cocopest - Information portal for major pests and diseases of coconut
Cocopest - Information portal for major pests and diseases of coconut
Disclaimer & Fair Use Statement
This website may contain copyrighted material, the use of which may not have been specifically authorised by the copyright owner. The content within this website is distributed without profit for research and educational purposes. This constitutes a 'fair use' of any such copyrighted material as provided for in section 107 of the US Copyright Law. You must obtain the express permission of the copyright owner if you wish to use any copyrighted material from this website.
Oryctes Boas (African Rhinoceros Beetle)
Adult O. boas & Larva of Oryctes spp.
General information
African rhinoceros beetle belongs to the genus Oryctes and mainly associates with palms i.e.coconut, date palm, and African oil palm. Most of the Dynastinae beetles are not pests, however, some have the potential to cause severe damage [1].

Feeding of the beetle causes holes on the palms which leads to potential entry of secondary pests (or pathogens) such as Rhynchophorus sp. In Ivory Coast, it has been reported that O.boas carry the nematode, Thelastoma pterygoton [2].

  • Larvae of the beetle bore into the crown and damages unopened leaves
  • Adults feed on youngest leaves and vegetative buds
  • Mass of fibers and chippings pushed out of the holes upon tunnelling of the beetle
  • Long-term adult feeding causes V-shaped notches on fronds of young leaves
  • Visible bore holes on the stems
  • Severe infestation leads to palm death
Detection and Inspection
Adult beetle tunnels into the heart of the palms and the attacked leaves produce V-shaped notches. Larvae are also found underneath the falling logs. Species diagnosis requires rearing of larvae until adult stage to observe for the horns on the head.
Taxonomic information
Category - Insect
Genus - Oryctes
Species - Boas
Common Name - African Rhinoceros Beetle
Scientific Name - Oryctes Boas
Countries reporting the incidence of O. boas include Angola, Benin, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Chad, Congo, DRC, IvoryCoast, Ethiopia, Gambia, Guinea Bissau, Kenya, Madagascar, Malawi, Mali, Mauritania, Mauritius, Mozambique, Niger, Nigeria, Rwanda, Senegal, Seychelles, Sierra Leone, Somalia, SouthAfrica, Sudan, Tanzania, Togo, Uganda and Zimbabwe.
Prevention and Control
  • Destruction of beetle breeding sites
  • Destroy dead palms and waste material by burning or burying
  • Trapping of beetles with olfactory/pheromone lures (e.g.ethylchrysanthemumate/ethy-4-methyloctanoate)
  • Take germplasm for new plantation from pest-free areas
  • Dispose of the plant debris at base of the palms
Plant Parts Affected
Leaves, Stem
  1. Royals, H.R.,Giligan, T.M. & Brodel,C.F.(2019). Screening aid:Coconut rhinoceros beetles, Oryctesspp. Identification Technology Program(ITP), USDA-Aphis-PPQ-S&T, Fort Collins, CO.
  2. MPOB(2019). Factsheets and Pictorial Guide:Oryctesboas, African rhinoceros beetle, Coconut rhinoceros beetle. Retrieved from
  3. CABI CPC. (2019). Datasheet on Oryctesboas (Rhinoceros beetle). Retrieved from
  4. Bohlen,E.(1973).Crop pests in Tanzania and their control. Berlin, Germany:VerlagPaulParey.
  5. Mariau,D.(1968).Biology of the feeding behaviour of Oryctes. Oléagineux, 23(6), 377-380.
  6. Philippe, R. & Dery, S.K.(2004). New way of controlling Oryctesmonoceros(Coleoptera:Dynastidae), a coconut pest in Ghana. CORD, 20(1), 43-51.
  7. Bedford,G.O.(2014). Advances in the control of rhinoceros beetle, Oryctes rhinoceros in oil palm. JOilPalmRes, 26(3), 183-194.
  8. Liau, S.S. & Ahmad, A.(1991).The control of Oryctes rhinoceros by clean clearing and its effect on early yielding palm to palm replants. Proceedings of the 1991 PORIM Int Palm Oil Dev Conf, 396-406.
  9. Monty, J.(1974).Teratological effects of the virus Rhabdi on virus oryctes on Oryctes rhinoceros(L.)(Coleoptera,Dynastidae).
  10. Hinckley, A.D.(1973). Ecology of the coconut rhinoceros beetle Oryctes rhinoceros(L). Biotropica, 5, 11-16.
  11. Turner, P.D. & Gillbanks, R.A.(2003). Oil palm cultivation and management. The Incorporated Society of Planters. Kuala Lumpur.
  12. USDA-APHIS (2015). The Coconut Rhinoceros Beetle. Retrieved from
  13. Wheatley, P.E.(1961). Insect pests in the Coast Province of Kenya. 1-Mango.EA fr ForestryJ, 26, 129-131.
Cocopest - Information portal for major pests and diseases of coconut
Search by country
Select country
Search by region
Select region
Search by pest name
Enter search term
Search by pest category
Select pest category
Brunei Agricultural Biosecurity
© 2022 Cocopest. All rights reserved.