Journal of Oil Palm Research Vol. 16 No 2  2004 Dec p.  64-77

Immigration and activity of Oryctes rhinoceros within a small oil palm replanting area

Author(s): NORMAN Kamarudin*; MOHD BASRI Wahid*

The pheromone of the rhinoceros beetle (Oryctes rhinoceros) has been used for mass trapping and monitoring, integrated with biological control agents. In the current study, pheromone traps were used to monitor the immigration and activity pattern of Oryctes adults within a 4.5 ha replanting block. Trapping was initiated after about five months of replanting, for a period of 24 months. The relationships of the trap captures with the heap population, palm damage, rainfall and moon phases were also studied. Infestation of the block occurred almost simultaneously with replanting. The core region of the block was infested between the fourth to seventh month after completion of felling and chipping. It was noted that female beetles were trapped consistently more at the fringes than in the core of the replanting block. There was a significant relationship between the number of adult females trapped (at about 40-60 days before monitoring the population in the heaps) and the number of second instar larvae. There was an increase in the flight activity of the beetle (based on trap captures) during wet weather, likely due to their search for moist breeding sites. Male beetles were more active during the full moon, likely navigating for food and searching for suitable habitats before mating. Cumulative captures of each individual trap and the damage levels of adjacent palms were significantly related. A high proportion (92%) of females captured in the traps were gravid, with a mean of 16 eggs per female. Based on trap captures, there were indications that adult populations were coming from the adjacent mature plantings. This information can be exploited for more effective and targeted control of the pest.

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Author Information
* Malaysian Palm Oil Board, P. O. Box 10620, 50720 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

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