Rhinoceros beetle spread averted on Rota

4:43 pm on 13 April 2019

An outbreak of the invasive coconut rhinoceros beetle was averted on Rota after Typhoon Mangkhut and Super Typhoon Yutu blew away or destroyed beetle traps on the island.

Coconut rhinoceros beetle larvae,.

Coconut rhinoceros beetle larvae,. Photo: AgResearch

Northern Marianas Department of Lands and Natural Resource personnel on island have reinstalled the traps and discovered the new nesting and breeding sites.

Since the re-installation of traps, the department said they had reverted to a previous cycle of catching only one or two beetles a month.

Its ultimate goal is to eradicate the beetle specie on Rota as it threatens the island's palm tree population.

However department staff have recently collected beetle larvae outside the original outbreak area.

The highly invasive species, which has decimated neighbouring Guam's coconut population, was first discovered on Rota in October 2017.

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