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Coconut rhinoceros beetle found in Central Oahu

  • COURTESY STATE DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE
    The coconut rhinoceros beetle can cut through the developing leaves of palm trees.
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A palm-damaging coconut rhinoceros beetle has been found in central Oahu — significantly extending the known range of the pest.

The state Department of Agriculture said a live female beetle was found Monday in a survey trap near Mililani at a spot south of Leilehua Golf Course.

"This is several miles north of where (coconut rhinoceros beetles) have been previously found on Oahu," the department said in a release.

Last Thursday, a single male adult beetle was found in a trap near the Diamond Head Lookout.

"With these new detections, the CRB team will be reassessing our strategy," said Scott Enright, chairman of the Hawaii Board of Agriculture. "We remain confident that CRB can eventually be eradicated and are establishing a 46-member team to work on this mission alone."

The beetles were known to be present within a six-mile zone around Joint Base Pearl Harbor-

Hickam where the pest was initially found in December.

A second two-mile buffer zone was created in the Campbell Industrial Park area after a beetle was found in a survey trap in July, and a third two-mile buffer zone is being established around the Diamond Head Lookout.

Now, a fourth buffer zone will be established around the latest detection, the agriculture department said.

About 130 palm trees have been removed and destroyed. Approximately 1,000 adult beetles, 1,100 larvae and 16 pupae have been found on Oahu.

The majority of the beetle detections remains within the six-mile buffer zone with the Navy and Air Force’s joint base as the center, the agriculture department said.

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