17 Oct 2019

Beetle virus released in Vanuatu

1:57 pm on 17 October 2019

A virus to control the invasive coconut rhinoceros beetle has been released in Vanuatu.

About 30 beetles infused with the virus were released this week on the main island, Efate, the Vanuatu Daily Post reports.

Coconut Rhinoceros Beetle.

Coconut Rhinoceros Beetle. Photo: Vanuatu Daily Post

A State of Emergency has been declared in Vanuatu in response to the threat posed by the beetle, which was detected on Efate in May.

It damages coconut trees and crops.

Another strain of the beetle is currently at large in Solomon Islands for which scientists are searching for another biological control agent, like the virus.

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